New understanding through research of exosomes from uveal melanoma


Denver, Colo.—Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare cancer yet, it is the most common eye cancer in adults especially Caucasian older adults. In addition, UM has a considerable risk of migrating from the eye to other areas in the body, particularly the liver, hence, it must be treated aggressively to prevent the spread. Much is not yet known about the factors that contribute to this high rate of metastasis and its connection to the liver. This week at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2022 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo., a study will discuss how uveal melanoma-derived exosomes play a role in this and if this information can be positively used.

Researchers from the Institut d’Investigacio Biomedica de Bellvitge and Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, Barcelona, Spain, led by Àngels Fabra, PhD, and Prof. José M Caminal, isolated exosomes from the secretome of uveal melanoma cells, and characterized them using electron microscopy, biophysical and biochemical techniques. They also exposed uveal melanoma-derived exosomes to macrophages and human liver stellate cells that were in co-culture in vitro.

They discovered “3241 proteins in exosomes from the isogenic UM cell lines, 895 of which were differentially expressed between invasive and non-invasive UM cells.” Additionally, they found that the invasive UM cells exhibited protein enrichment involved in signaling pathways, cell migration and invasion.

“The exosomes secreted by uveal melanoma cells have a key role in the education of the Human Stellate Cells favoring the development of the pre-metastatic niche in the liver that tilt in favor of metastasis,” said Fabra. “The exosomes secreted by uveal melanoma cells can be used as biomarkers of metastatic disease and their cargo announces possible new therapeutic targets, which could potentially overcome the limited efficacy of current therapies and thus improve patient outcomes.”

  • Abstract title: Role of exosomes in liver metastasis of uveal melanoma
  • Presentation start/end time: Tuesday, May 3, 1:17 – 1:34pm MT
  • Location: 1AB Mile High Blrm (Denver Convention Center)
  • Also available on the virtual meeting site at beginning May 11
  • Abstract Number: 2617


The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at

All abstracts accepted for presentation at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting represent previously unpublished data and conclusions. This research may be proprietary or may have been submitted for journal publication. Embargo policy: Journalists must seek approval from the presenter(s) before reporting data from paper or poster presentations. Press releases or stories on information presented at the ARVO Annual Meeting may not be released or published until the following embargo dates:

  • May 1: Official launch of presentations of all posters (both presented in-person and virtually)
  • Rolling basis: Paper session, Symposia, Minisymposia, Cross-sectional Groups, and invited speaker sessions that have specific presentation times will be embargoed until the end of those individual time slots.

Media contact:
Jenniffer Scherhaufer