Large Extracellular Vesicle Characterization and Association with Circulating Tumor Cells in Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer
Gerdtsson, A. S., Setayesh, S.M., Malihi, P.D.
Liquid biopsies hold potential as minimally invasive sources of tumor biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, therapy prediction or disease monitoring. We present an approach for parallel single-object identification of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and tumor-derived large extracellular vesicles (LEVs) based on automated high-resolution immunofluorescence followed by downstream multiplexed protein profiling. Identification of LEVs >6 µm in size and CTC enumeration was highly correlated, with LEVs being 1.9 times as frequent as CTCs, and additional LEVs were identified in 73% of CTC-negative liquid biopsy samples from metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer. Imaging mass cytometry (IMC) revealed that 49% of cytokeratin (CK)-positive LEVs and CTCs were EpCAM-negative, while frequently carrying prostate cancer tumor markers including AR, PSA, and PSMA. HSPD1 was shown to be a specific biomarker for tumor derived circulating cells and LEVs. CTCs and LEVs could be discriminated based on size, morphology, DNA load and protein score but not by protein signatures. Protein profiles were overall heterogeneous, and clusters could be identified across object classes. Parallel analysis of CTCs and LEVs confers increased sensitivity for liquid biopsies and expanded specificity with downstream characterization. Combined, it raises the possibility of a more comprehensive assessment of the disease state for precise diagnosis and monitoring.
Gerdtsson, A. S., Setayesh, S.M., Malihi, P.D. "Large Extracellular Vesicle Characterization and Association with Circulating Tumor Cells in Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer" Cancers (2021): doi: 10.3390/cancers13051056