Carcinomas are complex structures composed of hierarchically organized distinct cell populations such as cancer stem cells and non-stem (bulk) cancer cells. Their genetic/epigenetic makeup and the dynamic interplay between the malignant cell populations and their stromal fibroblasts are important determinants of metastatic tumor invasion. Important mediators of these interactions are the small, membrane-enclosed extracellular vesicles, in particular exosomes. Both cancer cell and fibroblast-derived exosomes carry a set of regulatory molecules, including proteins and different species of RNA, which cooperatively support metastatic tumor spread. Here, we briefly overview potential links between cancer stem cells and the exosome-mediated fibroblast-enriched metastatic niche formation to discuss their role in the promotion of tumor growth and metastatic expansion in breast carcinoma models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pharmacology (medical)