The incidence and mortality of lung cancer account for first place all over the world. Lung cancer lacks early diagnostic biomarkers; lung cancer patients are usually diagnosed in both middle and advanced stages and have poor treatment outcomes. It is more important to find the first diagnostic tools for lung cancer with high specificity and sensitivity. Besides, exosomes are usually nanometer-sized bi-layered lipid vesicles formed and produced by various types of cells. As one of the main modes of intercellular communication, they can deliver multiple functional biomolecules, such as DNA, microRNAs, messenger RNA (mRNA), long non-coding RNA, and proteins, and the events as mentioned above affects different physiological processes of recipient cells. It has been reported that exosomes are involved in different types of cancer, including lung cancer. Various studies proved that exosomes are involved in multiple cancer processes such as cell proliferation, metastasis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), angiogenesis, and the tumor microenvironment in lung cancer. Tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) contain a variety of stimulatory and inhibitory factors involved in regulating immune response, which can affect the tumor microenvironment (TME) and thus participate in the formation and progression of lung cancer. This review’s primary purpose to review the latest research progress of exosomes in diagnosing and treating lung cancer.
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