Cancer Exosomes as Mediators of Drug Resistance

  • Maria do Rosário André
  • Ana Pedro
  • David Lyden
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1395)


In the last decades, several studies demonstrated that the tumor microenvironment is a critical determinant not only of tumor progression and metastasis, but also of resistance to therapy. Exosomes are small membrane vesicles of endocytic origin, which contain mRNAs, DNA fragments, and proteins, and are released by many different cell types, including cancer cells. Mounting evidence has shown that cancer-derived exosomes contribute to the recruitment and reprogramming of constituents associated with the tumor microenvironment. Understanding how exosomes and the tumor microenvironment impact drug resistance will allow novel and better strategies to overcome drug resistance and treat cancer.

Here, we describe a technique for exosome purification from cell culture, and fresh and frozen plasma, and further analysis by electron microscopy, NanoSight microscope, and Western blot.

Key words

Tumor microenvironment Pre-metastatic niche Tumor-derived exosomes Drug resistance Cell culture Plasma NanoSight microscope Electron microscopy 



We thank Prof. Maria de Sousa from the Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal, and the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar, Porto, Portugal, for her advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria do Rosário André
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Pedro
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Lyden
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Champalimaud FoundationLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Genetics, Oncology and Human Toxicology, NOVA Medical School/Faculty of Medical SciencesNOVA UniversityLisbonPortugal

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