Impact of microparticles in cancer progression

Blood platelets are the principal source of cells known to shed small extracellular vesicles which package biologically active molecules. We have recently identified a new type of these vesicles (called microparticles/MPs) that contain mitochondria, which represent the energy producing motors for living cells. We have also discovered that MPs preferentially bind and internalize into leukemia cells to transfer their contents. As a result, recipient cancer cells gain energy producing capacity, which leads to increased cancer processes. Our objective is to characterize the mechanisms of MP interaction and sourcing of modulators leading to cancer progression. The elucidation of these novel mechanisms are essential for the development of specific compounds to block MP-cancer cell interactions. We believe that the mechanistic blockage of MP internalization will deprive cancer cells of vital resources for disease progression.The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute/ACRI has developed a proprietary technology to capture MPs. Through our fruitful collaborations and use of this technology, we will elucidate MP targeting and binding of cancer cells for the development of new anticancer strategies. This research could bring significant economic benefits to our health care systems and provide the ACRI with business opportunities with potential partners invested in the treatment of blood cancers.

Ehsan Gharib
Superviseur universitaire: 
Gilles Robichaud
New Brunswick
Partner University: