Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 821613, 9 pages
Review Article

Role of Extracellular Vesicles in Hematological Malignancies

1Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Sezione di Biologia e Genetica, Via Divisi 83, 90133 Palermo, Italy
2Laboratorio di Ingegneria Tissutale-Piattaforme Innovative per l’Ingegneria Tessutale (PON01-00829), Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, 90133 Palermo, Italy
3Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology (IBIM), National Research Council of Italy, 90146 Palermo, Italy

Received 27 January 2015; Accepted 13 April 2015

Academic Editor: Martin Bornhaeuser

Copyright © 2015 Stefania Raimondo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In recent years the role of tumor microenvironment in the progression of hematological malignancies has been widely recognized. Recent studies have focused on how cancer cells communicate within the microenvironment. Among several factors (cytokines, growth factors, and ECM molecules), a key role has been attributed to extracellular vesicles (EV), released from different cell types. EV (microvesicles and exosomes) may affect stroma remodeling, host cell functions, and tumor angiogenesis by inducing gene expression modulation in target cells, thus promoting cancer progression and metastasis. Microvesicles and exosomes can be recovered from the blood and other body fluids of cancer patients and contain and deliver genetic and proteomic contents that reflect the cell of origin, thus constituting a source of new predictive biomarkers involved in cancer development and serving as possible targets for therapies. Moreover, due to their specific cell-tropism and bioavailability, EV can be considered natural vehicles suitable for drug delivery. Here we will discuss the recent advances in the field of EV as actors in hematological cancer progression, pointing out the role of these vesicles in the tumor-host interplay and in their use as biomarkers for hematological malignancies.