The radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE) is a destructive reaction in nonirradiated cells and is one primary factor in determining the efficacy and success of radiation therapy in the field of cancer treatment. Previously reported studies have shown that the RIBE can be mediated by exosomes that carry miRNA components within. Exosomes, which are one type of cell-derived vesicle, exist in different biological conditions and serve as an important additional pathway for signal exchange between cells. In addition, exosome-derived miRNAs are confirmed to play an important role in RIBE, activating the bystander effect and genomic instability after radiotherapy. After investigating the field of RIBE, it is important to understand the mechanisms and consequences of biological effects as well as the role of exosomes and exosomal miRNAs therein, from different sources and under different circumstances, respectively. More discoveries could help to establish early interventions against RIBE while improving the efficacy of radiotherapy. Meanwhile, measures that would alleviate or even inhibit RIBE to some extent may exist in the near future.

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