Purpose: The expression of active tissue factor (TF) on the surface of microvesicles (MVs) is essential for the activation of the coagulation system and transduction of the signaling pathways in cancer cells. In its use as a biomarker for cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE), TF has shown high expression variability. As a contribution to this discussion, we present a study investigating plasma samples from patients with various progressive tumors at high risk for VTE. Methods: Based on our previous study uncovering microvesicles (MVs), the larger ectosome-like extracellular vesicles (EV), as the major source of TF activity in EV preparations, we now determined TF activity on enriched MVs isolated from plasma of cancer patients and compared it with that on MVs from healthy individuals. Results: We found considerably higher amounts of MVs as well as higher levels of MV-bound TF activities in the plasma of cancer patients. We also show that preparations from plasma of cancer patients have the potency to induce ERK phosphorylation in a human tumor cell line through proteinase-activated receptor two (PAR2) activation. Conclusion: We suggest that MVs instead of whole EV preparations, and TF activity rather than its antigenic quantification should be used in clinical studies for identifying patients with progressive tumors at high risk for VTE. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].