Engineered Extracellular Vesicles for Cancer Therapy

Adv Mater. 2021 Apr;33(14):e2005709. doi: 10.1002/adma.202005709. Epub 2021 Feb 28.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as a novel cell-free strategy for the treatment of many diseases including cancer. As a result of their natural properties to mediate cell-to-cell communication and their high physiochemical stability and biocompatibility, EVs are considered as excellent delivery vehicles for a variety of therapeutic agents such as nucleic acids and proteins, drugs, and nanomaterials. Increasing studies have shown that EVs can be modified, engineered, or designed to improve their efficiency, specificity, and safety for cancer therapy. Herein, a comprehensive overview of the recent advances in the strategies and methodologies of engineering EVs for scalable production and improved cargo-loading and tumor-targeting is provided. Additionally, the potential applications of engineered EVs in cancer therapy are discussed by presenting prominent examples, and the opportunities and challenges for translating engineered EVs into clinical practice are evaluated.

Keywords: bioinspiration; cancer therapy; extracellular vesicles; nanomaterials; nanotechnology.

Publication types

  • Review