Our goal in this study was to define the mechanisms by which fetuin-A mediates the adhesion of tumor cells. The data show that in the absence of fetuin-A, detached tumor cells secrete exosomes that contain most of the known exosomal associated proteins but lack the capacity to mediate cellular adhesion. In the presence of fetuin-A, the cells secrete exosomes, which contain, in addition to the other exosomal proteins, fetuin-A, plasminogen and histones. These exosomes mediate adhesion and cell spreading. Plasminogen is a participant in this novel adhesion mechanism. The data suggest that these exosomes play a role in tumor progression.