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Exosomes are
extracellular vesicles smaller than 150 nm in diameter composed of a lipid bilayer
containing transmembrane proteins and enclosing cytosolic proteins and RNA.
Exosomes also contain surface molecules that allow them to be targeted to recipient
cells. (Tkach et al. 2016)

The first time extracellular
vesicles were described was only 35 years ago, 2 groups observed that reticulocytes
released vesicles in extracellular space. (pan et al 1983, harding et al 1984) It
was only in 2010 that the hypotheses of functional delivery of miRNA in
exosomes to a target cell was demonstrated. (Pegtel et al 2010) The field of
exosomes is relatively new and quickly evolving. While a lot of research is done
getting definitive proof that certain hypothesis about exosomes are true is
still difficult.
By communication through functional delivery exosomes play a role in normal
physiological but also pathological processes.(Lee et
al. 2012) An important pathological process where exosomes play a role is tumor

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The last few years
in a lot of research the role of tumor derived exosomes in tumor progression
and in tumor metastasis came forward. Metastasis is the cause of most cancer
death, furthermore the metastasis are often difficult to target and treat. (Hoye
et al. 2016) This makes metastasis a big problem and makes it really important to
understand how cancer metastasize. With the understanding how cancer metastasizes
it could also be possible to come closer to a way to prevent cancer from
metastasizing and finding a treatment. An important role of exosomes in metastasizing
of cancer seems to be the forming of the pre-metastatic niche. Therefor I think
it is of great importance to learn more about the role of exosomes in the forming
of pre- metastatic niche.

My research question
is “What is the role of
tumor derived exosomes in the forming of pre-metastatic niche?”. Furthermore I would
like to get insight in why some people get metastasis, why tumors metastasize
in some organs but not in others and the role of exosomes in this. Also I would
like to answer what the actual proof of the concept is because a lot of
research is done in vitro or in vivo in mice and it is difficult to actually
proof it in vivo in humans. Also considering how many different research groups
have proofed/detected this concept and if it is not mostly originating from the
same research group.
If I am able to I would also like to get more insight in the possible
treatments using the information that is known about the role of exosomes in
the forming of premetastatic niche and possibly also get to know more about the
barrier function of macrophages in the forming of premetastatic niches by

I will do a search
in Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane using the same advanced search. My search would

Exosom* MESH

niche tiab

Exosom* tiab

Premetastatic niche

EV tiab

Premetast* OR pre-metast*
OR Metast* AND niche tiab

vesicle tiab


Total number of
articles pubmed:                         

Total number of
articles on pubmed:                      1019

Total combined on
pubmed:                                                113


Then I would take
out the duplicates and read the abstracts to exclude articles that are not
relevant after that of the articles that are left I would read the entire
article and exclude/include articles again. I would exclude articles when they
are not relevant for my systematic review, this could be because the main topic
is not about metastatic niches formed by exosomes or because it is not a type
of article I could use (like a systematic review). 

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