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URMC / Labs / Yi-Fen Lee Lab / Projects / Roles of tumor-derived extracellular vesicles in cancer cell immunogenicity following BCG therapy

Roles of tumor-derived extracellular vesicles in cancer cell immunogenicity following BCG therapy

Cancer immunotherapy, which uses the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer, has recently revolutionized cancer treatment. It represents a treatment with unprecedented potential to achieve complete, long lasting remissions and cancer cures. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy is perhaps one of the most successful immunotherapies for bladder cancer, yet the working mechanisms are not well understood. Extracellular vesicles, small vesicles secreted by all cells, carry “bio-information” and serve as key messengers to communicate with neighbor cells and distant cells through circulation. Our laboratory studies have shown that BCG can induce bladder cancer cells to release extracellular vesicles that contain key molecules for activation of immunity to fight against cancer, and the extracellular vesicles derived from BCG patients’ urine are correlated with treatment effectiveness. We apply cell and animal models to investigate bladder cancer extracellular vesicles’ function in mediating BCG immunotherapy, and also collect urine and blood from BCG patients during the 6-week treatment to analyze exosomes’ profiles, such as size, number and contents, and correlate those parameters with patients’ outcomes.

BCG

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