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Aethlon Medical (AEMD) Note: A Medical Device Strategy to Address Metastatic Melanoma
Date:12/7/2012

itutes establish exosome research programs, we benefit from new discoveries that will help us to understand which forms of cancer are most likely to benefit from our technology.  In this regard, Dr. Annette Marleau (our Director of Tumor Immunology) provides the following review on recent discoveries that describe the implication of exosomes in metastatic melanoma, a form of cancer whose 5-year survival rate is less than 20%.

Exosomes As Therapeutic Targets In Metastatic Melanoma

Exosomes are nano-sized microvesicles released in large quantities by cancer cells that are key culprits in the pathogenesis of several cancer types.  Exosomes are now recognized as biological delivery vehicles for communication between cells in almost every system of the body investigated to date.  In the area of oncology, cancer derived exosomes are highly stable "packages" released from tumors that transport proteins and genetic material from their originating tumor cells to distant sites throughout the body to accelerate tumor progression.  In melanoma patients, tumor-secreted exosomes serve as carriers of malignant proteins and their levels in circulation correlate with the aggressiveness of the cancer1.  To date, cancer exosomes have been implicated in: a) immune suppression; b) enhancement of angiogenesis; and c) promotion of metastasis, which will be discussed below.

Owing to several recent publications that have defined their pathological roles in metastatic disease, melanoma exosomes are emerging as candidate therapeutic targets.  Metastatic (stage 4) melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, has a five-year survival rate of only 15-20%2. This disease continues to be a challenge to treat, as the current standard treatments have proven to be ineffective and/or highly toxic. Since patients afflicted with metastatic melanoma have suppressed immune systems due to tumor- and drug-related effects, the
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SOURCE Aethlon Medical, Inc.
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