Exosomes as immune regulators in head and neck cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Ludwig S, et al. HNO 2020 - Review.


Exosomes, virus-sized nanovesicles, are utilized as messenger systems of our body to communicate with other body cells and regulate immune functions. Almost all cells produce exosomes and are able to interact with immune cells in the blood stream and peripheral body areas. Different markers on the surface of exosomes are necessary for immune cell adhesion and interaction. Furthermore, many types of exosome-immune cell interaction, such as surface receptor contact and phagocytosis, are known. As

carriers of different cargos, exosomes affect different immune cell types in head and neck cancers: So far, T cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells have been described in this context. For diagnostic purposes, a combined analysis of different parameters including protein amount, nucleic acid/protein expression, and the immunosuppressive impact of exosomes could empower exosomes as useful tools for evaluation of tumor promotion and progression in the future.