Research Streams

extracellular big

The ACRI team is working to identify the specific proteins and nucleic acids that are released from cancer cells in small packages known as exosomes and/or microvesicles (collectively known as extracellular vesicles - EVs). By using novel, proprietary technologies developed at ACRI, ACRI scientists are able to rapidly and efficiently capture extracellular vesicles from both cell culture and body fluids for downstream analyses of their contents. These cancer-specific proteins and nucleic acids hold the potential to be used as new biomarkers for cancer detection by minimally-invasive approaches (i.e. blood or urine samples), a process termed “liquid biopsy”. ACRI is focused on advancing its extracellular vesicle capture technologies to enable new cancer diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment-response tests based on the principle of liquid biopsy. 

Some of ACRI's EV isolation technologies may also be amenable to therapeutic purposes. ACRI’s candidate molecules used to isolate EVs are already FDA approved for multiple formulations, wound healing and internal uses in human medicine. As the scientific and clinical community are increasing their understanding on the role of EVs in the body, using stem cell-derived EVs or drug-loaded EVs could show promise in the medical field. 

What are exosomes and EVs?

Exosomes and extracellular vesicles (EVs) are cell-derived nano-sized membrane-encapsulated particles (30-300nm) that act as intermediates in an elaborate communication network, which cells in the body use to deliver complex messages to other cells. EVs can be viewed as nano-cargo transports that circulate in both humans and animals and contain vital information that can inform us in real-time on both normal and disease processes that are occurring within the body. As such, EVs contain a sample of the DNA, RNA, protein and metabolites found within the cells from which they are derived. Since EVs appear in body fluids such as blood and urine, they are also a biomarker source that may be obtained by minimally-invasive methods in order to screen for disease.



  • Jeremy Roy, Ph.D. – Research Associate
  • Catherine Taylor, MSc. – Research Technician
  • Sebastien Fournier, BSc. – Research Assistant

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Atlantic Cancer Research Institute 
Pavillon Hôtel-Dieu
35, Providence Street
Moncton, NB E1C 8X3 Canada
Tel.: 506-862-7512
Fax.: 506-862-7571

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

 (ACRI) is a non-profit organization founded in late 1998 and housed at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. Thanks to its unique expertise, ACRI has become a true centre of excellence in cancer research.


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