Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most fatal cancers worldwide with high mortality, which is mainly due to the lack of reliable biomarkers for PDAC diagnosis/prognosis in the early stages and effective therapeutic strategies for the treatment. Cancer-derived small extracellular vesicles (sEVs), which carry various messages and signal biomolecules (e.g. RNAs, DNAs, proteins, lipids, and glycans) to constitute the key features (e.g. genetic and phenotypic status) of cancer cells, are regarded as highly competitive non-invasive biomarkers for PDAC diagnosis/prognosis. Additionally, new insights on the biogenesis and molecular functions of cancer-derived sEVs pave the way for novel therapeutic strategies based on cancer-derived sEVs for PDAC treatment such as inhibition of the formation or secretion of cancer-derived sEVs, using cancer-derived sEVs as drug carriers and for immunotherapy. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the most recent scientific and clinical research on the discovery and involvement of key molecules in cancer-derived sEVs for PDAC diagnosis/prognosis and strategies using cancer-derived sEVs for PDAC treatment. The current limitations and emerging trends toward clinical application of cancer-derived sEVs in PDAC diagnosis/prognosis and treatment have also been discussed.
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- Pancreatic cancer
- Extracellular vesicles
- Cancer diagnosis/prognosis
- Cancer treatment