Role of extracellular vesicles in epithelial ovarian cancer: A systematic review

Alessandro Lucidi, Danilo Buca, Carlo Ronsini, Sara Tinari, Giuseppina Bologna, Davide Buca, Martina Leombroni, Marco Liberati, Francesco D’antonio, Giovanni Scambia, Paola Lanuti, Marco Petrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a heterogeneous group of cell-derived submicron vesicles released under physiological or pathological conditions. EVs mediate the cellular crosstalk, thus contributing to defining the tumor microenvironment, including in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The available literature investigating the role of EVs in EOC has been reviewed following PRISMA guidelines, focusing on the role of EVs in early disease diagnosis, metastatic spread, and the development of chemoresistance in EOC. Data were identified from searches of Medline, Current Contents, PubMed, and from references in relevant articles from 2010 to 1 April 2020. The research yielded 194 results. Of these, a total of 36 papers, 9 reviews, and 27 original types of research were retained and analyzed. The literature findings demonstrate that a panel of EV-derived circulating miRNAs may be useful for early diagnosis of EOC. Furthermore, it appears clear that EVs are involved in mediating two crucial processes for metastatic and chemoresistance development: the epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and tumor escape from the immune system response. Further studies, more focused on in vivo evidence, are urgently needed to clarify the role of EV assessment in the clinical management of EOC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8762
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2020


  • Epithelial mesenchymal transition
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Immunological escape
  • MicroRNAs
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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