Cancers (Basel) 13 (13) - [2021-06-29; online 2021-06-29]
Invasive urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) has high recurrence rates even after radical cystectomy (RC). Exosomes are membrane-bound nanovesicles, which have been shown to contribute to carcinogenesis and metastasis. We previously showed that urinary exosomes display a malignant profile in UBC patients despite the absence of detectable tumour. Here, we investigated exosomes from sampling sites close to or distant from the former tumour, aiming to understand the effect of the tumour on the local milieu. Ten patients scheduled for cystectomy after transurethral bladder resection (TUR-B), without remaining detectable tumour, were included. Exosomes were isolated from tissue explants of both the previous tumour site and distant bladder tissue. Proteins were quantified by mass spectrometry in seven patients. Exosomes from the previous tumour site were enriched in inflammatory but not cancer-related pathways compared to distant tissue. However, the 69 most abundant proteins in tissue-derived exosomes regardless of site, 20 of which were also found in urinary exosomes from our previous study, were enriched for cancer-related metabolic pathways and associated with poor prognosis in an external mRNA dataset. The enrichment of cancer-related pathways in the most abundant proteins, regardless of sampling site, confirms our hypothesis that despite the absence of detectable tumour, the entire bladder releases exosomes that contribute to metastasis and highlights the need for early RC.