Review: Multiplexed profiling of biomarkers in extracellular vesicles for cancer diagnosis and therapy monitoring

Anal Chim Acta. 2021 Aug 29;1175:338633. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2021.338633. Epub 2021 May 15.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanoscale vesicles secreted by normal and pathological cells. The types and levels of surface proteins and internal nucleic acids in EVs are closely related to their original cells, tumor occurrence, and development. Thus, the sensitive and accurate detection of EV biomarkers is a reliable approach for noninvasive disease diagnosis and treatment response monitoring. However, the purification and molecular profiling of these EVs are technically challenging. Much effort has been dedicated to developing new methods for the detection of multiple EV biomarkers. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in EV protein and nucleic acid biomarker analysis. Additionally, we systematically discuss the advantages of multiplexed EV biomarker detection for accurate cancer diagnosis, therapy monitoring, and cancer screening. This article aims to present an overview of all kinds of analytical technologies for assessing EVs and their applications in clinical settings.

Keywords: Biosensors; Cancer diagnosis; Extracellular vesicles; Multiplex analysis; Therapy monitoring.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Humans
  • Liquid Biopsy
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Nucleic Acids*


  • Biomarkers
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Nucleic Acids