Tom Frawley cancers-12-03200-v2.pdf (1.2 MB)
Download file

Extracellular vesicle dissemination of epidermal growth factor receptor and ligands and its role in cancer progression.

Download (1.2 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 25.03.2021, 11:41 authored by Thomas FrawleyThomas Frawley, Olga PiskarevaOlga Piskareva
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway functions through the autocrine or paracrine activation of cellular EGFR by a number of transmembrane ligands. Amplified or mutant EGFR can lead to tumour formation due to increased cell proliferation, growth, migration and survival signals. These oncogenic effects were thought to be confined to aberrant cells hosting genetic alterations in EGFR. However, in the past decade, numerous studies identified that tumour cells could harness extracellular vesicles (EVs) to disseminate EGFR, mutant EGFR, phosphorylated EGFR and EGFR ligands to local and distant cells. This functions to impart a pro-tumourigenic phenotype in recipient cells. EVs play an essential role in intracellular communication, through receptor signalling or the release of their intra-vesicular content into recipient cells. This review will discuss the role of EVs delivering EGFR or EGFR ligands either to or from tumour cells and how this can promote metastases, pre-metastatic niche formation, osteoclastogenesis, angiogenesis and immune modulation in cancer. We will examine how circulating EVs positive for EGFR may be exploited as diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic markers in cancers including breast, lung, glioblastoma, ovarian and prostate. Finally, we will explore recent breakthroughs in bio-engineering EVs with EGFR targeting abilities for targeted drug delivery.


Decoding exosomal proteome and glycoprofile in drug-resistant neuroblastoma | Funder: Irish Research Council (IRC) | Grant ID: EPSPG/2017/298

Modulation of drug resistance in high-risk neuroblastoma through exosomal miRNA | Funder: National Children’s Research Centre Crumlin / NCRC | Grant ID: A/17/2



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Frawley T, Piskareva O. Extracellular vesicle dissemination of epidermal growth factor receptor and ligands and its role in cancer progression. Cancers (Basel). 2020;12(11):3200.

Publication Date

30 October 2020

PubMed ID



  • Amber (Advanced Material & Bioengineering Research) Centre
  • Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine
  • RCSI Tissue Engineering Group (TERG)
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Cancer
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation




  • Published Version (Version of Record)