1. Department of Digital Health, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences and Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
2. Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences and Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
3. Samsung Genome Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
4. Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
5. Department of Pathology and Translational Genomics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
*These authors contributed equally as co-first authors.
Background: The clinical utility of mRNA cargo in exosomes is unclear, although exosomes have potential as non-invasive biomarkers. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of exosomal mRNA sequencing for monitoring disease status and predicting outcomes in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients.
Methods: Exosomes were isolated from archived serum samples of 33 patients with NHL who were registered into our prospective cohort: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL, n = 17), intravascular B-cell lymphoma (IVL, n = 1), primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL, n = 4), follicular lymphoma (FL, n = 3), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL, n = 3), and extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTL, n = 5). Exosomal mRNA sequencing was performed, and its concordance with clinical course was analyzed and compared with those of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) mutations.
Results: Exosomal mRNA sequencing was performed successfully in 26 cases (79%, 26/33), whereas the remaining seven cases were not completed due to their small amount of RNA. The exosomal mRNA sequencing of DLBCL showed gene expression profiles consistent with activated B-cell-like and germinal center type. The longitudinal assessment of exosomal mRNA sequencing results in accordance with the clinical course showed that the post-treatment changes of exosomal mRNA expression were more consistent with treatment outcome than were those of ctDNA mutations. In particular, the exosomal mRNA expression of genes such as BCL2 and BCL6 was increased at the time of disease progression in DLBCL and FL patients.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility of exosomal mRNA expression profiles as a biomarker for NHL patients. Our results might provide the rationale for studies to explore the potential of exosomal mRNA as a biomarker in NHL patients.
Keywords: Liquid biopsy, exosome, messenger RNA, non-Hodgkin lymphoma