J Leukoc Biol 2020 May 25. Epub 2020 May 25.
Program of Immunology and Tumor Biology, Division of Experimental and Translational Research, Brazilian National Cancer Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Melanoma is a very lethal tumor type that easily spreads and colonizes regional and distant tissues. Crucial phenotypic changes that favor melanoma metastasis are interposed by the tumor microenvironment (TME), representing a complex network in which malignant cells communicate not only with each other but also with stromal and immune cells. This cell-cell communication can be mediated by extracellular vesicles (EVs), which are lipid bilayer-delimited particles capable of carrying a wide variety of bioactive compounds. Both melanoma-derived or TME-derived EVs deliver important pro- and antitumor signals implicated in various stages of tumor progression, such as proliferation, metastasis, and treatment response. In this review, we highlight the recent advances in EV-mediated crosstalk between melanoma and immune cells and other important cells of the TME, and address different aspects of this bidirectional interaction as well as how this may hinder or trigger the development and progression of melanoma. We also discuss the potential of using EVs as biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for melanoma.