Studies on Microvesicles May Provide Important Biomarkers for Breast Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases

Studies on Microvesicles May Provide Important Biomarkers for Breast Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases

PhD Student from IDOR Conducts Research in Collaboration with the University of Colorado


Microvesicles, or extracellular vesicles ranging from 50 to 1,000 nanometers in diameter, are microscopic particles secreted by normal or cancerous cells in the body. They carry important markers about their parent cells and the conditions within our body, potentially aiding in identifying a wide array of pathologies.

One of the primary research goals of João Eduardo Izaias, a PhD candidate in medical sciences at IDOR, recently selected for a sandwich PhD program at the University of Colorado, USA, is to understand better the role of these vesicles in breast cancer survivors.

In Brazil, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Allan Kluser, a permanent member of the IDOR Graduate Program, Izaias has already been involved in studies investigating the role of vesicles in breast and kidney neoplasms and cardiovascular diseases. “In our research with Dr. Allan, we always strive to evaluate patients from bedside to bench, involving studies of physiology and molecular and cellular mechanisms. For instance, what pathophysiological changes do we observe in this group of patients, and how can these be explained at the molecular and cellular levels? Studying microvesicles is one way to investigate this, and we can apply this technique to different populations,” Dr. Izaias explains.

At the University of Colorado, Izaias is joining the team at the Department of Integrative Physiology, under the supervision of Dr. Christopher de Souza, aiming to refine the technique for investigating extracellular vesicles for future projects in Brazil. “My focus of study is on extracellular vesicles derived from endothelial and platelet cells, which are primarily associated with inflammation and coagulation in the body. High concentrations of these particles have already been linked to hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart failure, and cardiovascular mortality, as well as being investigated in cases of spinal cord injury,” the scientist notes.

At IDOR, other research lines include the analysis of extracellular vesicles for early identification of Alzheimer’s disease, and studies made possible by the institution’s cutting-edge infrastructure, such as the SiMoA, an ultrasensitive technology for biomarker detection.

Integrating one of the most promising areas of contemporary medicine, Dr. Izaias’s research on microvesicles could aid in developing valuable tools for the early diagnosis of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and other pathologies. Additionally, it allows the study of cellular mechanisms associated with adverse effects of cancer therapies on the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and autonomic systems. The study also paves the way for new international collaborations and reiterates IDOR’s position as a reference in cutting-edge biomedical research.

Written by Maria Eduarda Ledo de Abreu.