Exosomes are membrane vesicles that are released from many different cell types. Tumor derived-exosomes play a role in immune suppression. We hypothesized that in ovarian carcinoma patients exosomes initially produced at the local abdominal site may become systemic. We examined paired samples of ascites and blood from ovarian carcinoma patients for the presence of exosomes. We also studied the requirements for exosomal uptake by immune cells, the role of phosphatidyl-serine (PS) as uptake signal and the effect of exosome application on tumor growth. We used exosomes from ovarian carcinoma cell lines, malignant ascites and sera from ovarian carcinoma patients isolated by ultracentrifugation. PS-displayed by exosomes was detected by Anexin-V-FITC staining of latex beads adsorbed exosomes. For uptake experiments, labeled exosomes were exposed to cells in the presence or absence of cold Annexin-V as competitor. Uptake was examined by fluorescent microscopy and cytofluorographic analysis. Effects of exosomes on tumor growth were studied using SKOV3ip ovarian carcinoma cells in CD1 nu/nu mice. We found that malignant ascites-derived exosomes cargo tumor progression related proteins such as L1CAM, CD24, ADAM10, and EMMPRIN. We observed that exosomes become systemic via the blood stream. Uptake of ovarian carcinoma exosomes by NK cells was found to require PS at the exosomal surface but the presence of PS was not sufficient. Application of malignant ascites-derived exosomes to tumor bearing mice resulted in augmented tumor growth. Exosomes from the serum of tumor patients could be isolated from only one ml of blood and this analysis could serve for diagnostic purposes. We propose that tumor-derived exosomes could play a role in tumor progression.