Metastasis is responsible for more than 90% of cancer-associated mortality; thus the clinical need
to prevent or target metastasis is high. This holds especially for triple-negative breast cancer
(TNBC) patients, since not a single targeted therapy has been approved for the treatment of
metastatic TNBC and these patients respond poorly to aggressive and toxic chemotherapy. We
focus on common early actors of metastatic progression to target early metastatic processes.
Exosomes are small membrane vesicles (50-150 nanometer) that are released by cancer cells,
which contain proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. They carry targeting motifs and unique messages
for cell-type specific instruction of distant ecosystems fostering metastasis. Consequently, gold
nanoparticles associated with a chemotherapeutic and camouflaged with exosome membranes
could be used as biomimetic drug delivery platforms with the potential for controlling metastatic
disease. To fully exploit the specific targeting abilities of exosomes we will coat the membranes
derived from highly pure exosomes in their entirety around gold nanoparticles. Our aim is to have
a novel strategy to therapeutically target early metastatic lesions using nanoparticles mimicking
the characteristics of exosomes by the end of this project.