Tumor-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Predict Clinical Outcomes in Oligometastatic Prostate Cancer and Suppress Antitumor Immunity

Fabrice Lucien, Yohan Kim, Jing Qian, Jacob J. Orme, Henan Zhang, Ali Arafa, Feven Abraha, Ishwor Thapa, Erik J. Tryggestad, William S. Harmsen, Jorgena Kosti, Hesham Ali, Val J. Lowe, Geoff B. Johnson, Eugene D. Kwon, Haidong Dong, Sean S. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: SABR has demonstrated clinical benefit in oligometastatic prostate cancer. However, the risk of developing new distant metastatic lesions remains high, and only a minority of patients experience durable progression-free response. Therefore, there is a critical need to identify which patients will benefit from SABR alone versus combination SABR and systemic agents. Herein we provide, to our knowledge, the first proof-of-concept of circulating prostate cancer-specific extracellular vesicles (PCEVs) as a noninvasive predictor of outcomes in oligometastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (omCRPC) treated with SABR. Methods and Materials: We analyzed the levels and kinetics of PCEVs in the peripheral blood of 79 patients with omCRPC at baseline and days 1, 7, and 14 after SABR using nanoscale flow cytometry and compared with baseline values from cohorts with localized and widely metastatic prostate cancer. The association of omCRPC PCEV levels with oncological outcomes was determined with Cox regression models. Results: Levels of PCEVs were highest in mCRPC followed by omCRPC and were lowest in localized prostate cancer. High PCEV levels at baseline predicted a shorter median time to distant recurrence (3.5 vs 6.6 months; P = .0087). After SABR, PCEV levels peaked on day 7, and median overall survival was significantly longer in patients with elevated PCEV levels (32.7 vs 27.6 months; P = .003). This suggests that pretreatment PCEV levels reflect tumor burden, whereas early changes in PCEV levels after treatment predict response to SABR. In contrast, radiomic features of 11C-choline positron emission tomography and computed tomography before and after SABR were not predictive of clinical outcomes. Interestingly, PCEV levels and peripheral tumor-reactive CD8 T cells (TTR; CD8+ CD11ahigh) were correlated. Conclusions: This original study demonstrates that circulating PCEVs can serve as prognostic and predictive markers to SABR to identify patients with “true” omCRPC. In addition, it provides novel insights into the global crosstalk, mediated by PCEVs, between tumors and immune cells that leads to systemic suppression of immunity against CRPC. This work lays the foundation for future studies to investigate the underpinnings of metastatic progression and provide new therapeutic targets (eg, PCEVs) to improve SABR efficacy and clinical outcomes in treatment-resistant CRPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-737
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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