Exosomes are extremely small vesicles that are transported through the membranes that surround the body’s cells. They act as messengers or bottle post between different cells. They were discovered in the 1970s by Gunnar Ronquist, professor emeritus in clinical chemistry at Uppsala University, Sweden. They were named prostasomes because he first found them in the prostate fluid.
In April 2011 Gunnar Ronquist et al published an article in PNAS, one of the world’s leading scientific journals. The article changed the concept of diagnosis for prostate cancer.
Professor Anders Waldenström, ProsMedic’s co-founder and scientific director, CSO, and his research group at Umeå University, in collaboration with Gunnar Ronquist, subsequently succeeded in showing that heart cells can transmit information to other cells by exosomes. The exosome protects the contents (the message) to the recipient cell in the form of proteins, DNA and RNA.
In 2015 Waldenström and Ronquist published an article in the Swedish medical journal Läkartidningen: “The exosome – intercellular signal carrier with future potential. May provide new diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities”
The researchers managed to develop antibodies that could be used to identify exosomes from prostate cancer cells (prostasomes) in blood but the antibodies were accidentally destroyed in 2015. Anders Waldenström began work to replace the destroyed antibodies and to develop new ones. New technology has made it possible to produce antibodies more easily and with the same results as the original versions.