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The concept of EV-based liquid biopsy


EVs from human plasma under cryo-electron microscope. 


Tissue biopsy is the gold standard to confirm cancer. However, it is invasive which is not suitable for routine testing or frequent measurement. Liquid biopsy, however, analyses tumours using circulating biomarkers in blood and other bodily fluids in a minimally invasive and repeatable way. Tests based on these biomarkers can obtain a wealth of information about cancer such as the tumour presence, stage, progression and response to therapy.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a class of membrane-bound phospholipid vesicles released by cells. It has been confirmed that EVs play crucial roles in the communication between cancer cells and the tumour microenvironment. Thus EVs have received considerable attentions recently as a biomarker for liquid biopsy. 

In this project, we are developing cutting-edge/clinical-suitable EV-based bioassay for liquid biopsy. One of the cancers that we are currently working on is pancreatic cancer, which is among the deadliest cancer with a rise in both incidence and contribution to overall cancer deaths.

Selected publication

  1. Pang B., Zhu Y., Ni J., Ruan J., Thompson J., Malouf D., Bucci J., Graham P., Li Y. Quality assessment and comparison plasma-derived extracellular vesicles isolated by three commercial kits for prostate cancer diagnosis, International Journal of Nanomedicine, 2020;15:10241-10256. DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S283106

  2. Pang B., Zhu Y., Ni J., Thompson J., Malouf D., Bucci J., Graham P., Li Y., Extracellular vesicles: the next generation of biomarkers for liquid biopsy-based prostate cancer diagnosis, Theranostics, 10(5):2309-2326 (2020). DOI: 10.7150/THNO.39486

  3. Chang L., Ni J., Zhu Y., Pang B., Graham P., Zhang H., Li Y., Liquid biopsy in ovarian cancer: recent advances in circulating extracellular vesicle detection for personalized medicine, Theranostics, 9(14): 4130-4140 (2019). DOI: 10.7150/THNO.34692

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