The fusion of two worlds: non-coding RNAs and extracellular vesicles--diagnostic and therapeutic implications (Review)

Int J Oncol. 2015 Jan;46(1):17-27. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2712. Epub 2014 Oct 17.


The role of the extracellular non-coding RNAs, particularly microRNAs present in tumor-derived extravesicles, has been intensively exploited in human cancer as a promising tool for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. Current knowledge on exosomes shows an important role not only as vehicles in the intercellular communication, but the transfer of their content can specifically modulate the surrounding microenvironment, leading to tumor development and progression and affecting therapy response. Based on this, much effort has focused on understanding the mechanisms behind the biology of exosomes and their closely interaction with non-coding RNAs as an efficient tool in tumor diagnostic and therapy. Here we summarize the current knowledge on extracellular and exosomes-enclosed non-coding RNAs, and their importance as potential biomarkers and mediators of intercellular communication in tumor biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Exosomes / pathology
  • Exosomes / physiology*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / physiology
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques* / methods
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques* / trends
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • RNA, Untranslated / physiology*
  • RNA, Untranslated / therapeutic use


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Untranslated