Microvesicles: Messengers and mediators of tumor progression
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Cellular interactions play a crucial role in progression, angiogenesis and invasiveness of tumors, including glioma. The traditionally accepted view is that medium and long-range cellular communications occur primarily through gradients of soluble ligands, recognizable by the cell-associated receptors. Recent findings, however, suggest the existence of another mode of intercellular communication, where the 'units' of information are microvesicles containing a multitude of biologically active protein and RNA species, including oncogenic receptors, such as EGFRvIII. Moreover, microvesicles can be retrieved from the circulating blood of cancer patients, and reveal the presence of oncogenes in their tumors, thereby potentially serving as information-rich prognostic and predictive biomarkers.
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