The platelet-cancer loop

Hadi A. Goubran, Thierry Burnouf, Mirjana Radosevic, Magdy El-Ekiaby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relationship between cancer and thrombosis has been established since 1865 when Armand Trousseau described superficial thrombophlebitis as forewarning sign of occult visceral malignancy. Platelets are the primary hemostatic tool and play a primordial role in cancer-induced thrombosis. Tumor-induced numerical and functional platelet abnormalities have been described in conjunction to changes in coagulation. Such changes are reported even in the absence of clinically detectable thrombosis and correlate with tumor progression and metastasis. Reciprocally, platelets seem to interplay with the tumors and the immune system, both directly and indirectly favoring tumor progressions, tethering and distant spread. A number of growth factors supporting tumor growth, angiogenesis and metastasis are released from the platelets. A reciprocating loop of tumor-induced platelet activation/platelet-induced tumor growth and dissemination is initiated, acting as a thrombosis trigger/tumor amplifier. Recent studies have demonstrated that the use of anti-platelet agents can break this loop resulting in a reduction of short-term risk for incident cancer, cancer mortality and metastasis. The beneficial effect in reduction in cancer-induced thrombosis remains to be established. The current review aims at shedding the light on the intimate reciprocal cross-talk between platelets and cancer and on exploring the potential beneficial effect of anti-platelet agents in breaking the deadly loop of tumor amplification. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-400
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Malignancy
  • Metastasis
  • Platelets
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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