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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Applicability of exosomes as predictors of response to treatment and prognosis in breast cancer: cellular modifications induced by the interaction of exovesicles

Lead Researcher: Fernando Rodríguez Serrano
Research Centre: Instituto de Biopatología y Medicina Regenerativa.
Centro de Investigación Biomédica. Universidad de Granada.


Fernando Rodríguez SerranoExosomes, nanovesicles released by the cells to the extracellular space, play an important role in transmitting biological components in the physiological and pathological context. In the field of cancer, exosomes have been related to cell transformation, disease progression, and drug resistance, among other aspects. Tumors appear to use exosomes to create ideal conditions for their growth and expansion. However, we currently have little information concerning the mechanisms and characteristics of the exovesicles that explain these effects. The project is structured into three interrelated lines of action. Firstly, we will characterize the phenotype and the molecular environment in exosomes of breast-tumor cells. In this phase, we will evaluate the correlation between tumor cells and their corresponding exosomes, identify relevant markers and biomolecules during the oncogenic process of normal cells, and analyze the molecular and cellular alterations induced by exosomes. Then, we will assess the clinical utility of these exosomal components in breast-cancer patients. We will focus on the association between the amount and phenotype of exosomes and the patient's response to treatment and prognosis. Similarly, we will analyze the variations in exosome quantification throughout neoadjuvant treatment and post-surgery chemotherapy, in order to associate exosomal levels with the clinical outcome. Finally, we will develop specific identification systems for the exosome markers selected in previous studies using phage display. Therefore, the results of the present project will help clarify the role of exosomes in breast cancer, identify markers to predict the clinical response of patients, and develop specific systems to detect the exosomes.

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