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DEC 08, 2015 8:00 AM PST

WEBINAR: Diversity of Cancer-Derived Extracellular Vesicles

Speaker
  • Associate Professor, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
    Biography
      Dr. Dolores Di Vizio is a pathologist and a molecular and cell biologist trained at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Di Vizio is in the faculty at Harvard University since 2007, and holds an academic appointment as associate professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and UCLA, Los Angeles. Dr. Di Vizio has been studying the molecular mechanisms of progression to advanced disease in human tumors, with particular emphasis on prostate cancer, for over a decade. She discovered that fast migrating and metastatic amoeboid cancer cells release very large extracellular vesicles into the extracellular space. Her group has demonstrated that these vesicles, known as large oncosomes, contain a distinct cargo and play specific function in cancer progression. Ongoing studies in her lab use large-scale approaches, including next generation sequencing, to characterize the molecular profile of large oncosomes and other extracellular vesicles, with the ultimate goal to identify cancer markers in biological fluids. Another focus in the lab is the study of the biological and functional diversity of various populations of extracellular vesicles. Dr. Di Vizio is an executive board member of the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles, and an associate editor for the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles.

    Abstract
    Cancer-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an important role in cancer progression and metastasis. They can be identified in biological fluids thus providing appealing candidates for novel circulating biomarkers. Studies designed to achieve a deeper understanding of the extent to which EVs propagate oncogenic signals and can be interrogated in clinically relevant settings are increasing. EVs are highly heterogeneous in size, function, biogenesis and mechanisms of communication with target cells. A greater molecular and functional characterization of the EV types that can be released from a given cancer cell will improve our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying cancer progression. Focus of this webinar is a novel EV population referred to as large oncosomes, which originate from the shedding of non-apoptotic membrane blebbing. This biological phenomenon is typical of amoeboid tumor cells with keen migratory abilities and high metastatic propensity. Recent studies demonstrate that large oncosomes are molecular and functional entities that can be distinguished from exosomes and possibly from other EV classes. Further studies on the functional role of large oncosomes and other EVs in specific steps of cancer formation and progression will expand our understanding of the diversity of paracrine signaling mechanisms in malignant growth and metastasis.

    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand importance of the role cancer-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) play in cancer progression and metastasis
    • Understand the role of novel EV population referred to as large oncosomes
    • Understand a novel extracellular vesicle (EV) population referred to as large oncosomes, which originate from the shedding of non-apoptotic membrane blebbing
    • Understand recent studies that demonstrate that large oncosomes are molecular and functional entities that can be distinguished from exosomes and possibly from other EV classes

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