Current Research in Medicine

Platelets, Coagulation and Cancer: Multifaceted Interactions

H. A. Goubran and T. Burnouf

DOI : 10.3844/amjsp.2012.130.140

Current Research in Medicine

Volume 3, Issue 2

Pages 130-140

Abstract

Approach: Literature review of the multifaceted interactions between platelets, coagulation and cancer. Results: Over the years, the links existing between cancer development, progression and occurrence of metastasis on one side and coagulation on the other have become obvious. Tumors seems to activate platelets whereas, platelets, on the other hand, through their capacity to activate and release soluble factors and microparticles, interact with tumor cells and influence immune regulation. They appear to be key regulators of many cancer events. Furthermore, coagulation with its different facets also interplays and significantly crosstalks with malignancy. The objectives of this article are to review the mechanisms through which cancer interacts with platelets and the coagulation, triggering thrombosis and the role played by platelets and coagulation factors in the regulation of cancer and to underline the perspectives that are now open in the development of novel diagnostic tools and new cancer treatment strategies. Conclusion/Recommendations: Challenging issues and unresolved questions still need to be addressed to understand the complexity existing between coagulation factors and platelet components and the different stages of cancer progression. Recent discoveries are leading clinicians to consider new therapeutic applications of anticoagulant therapies or new drugs targeting specific platelet functions in cancer patients’ management. Furthermore, markers of coagulation and platelet activity may prove to serve as biomarkers for dormant tumors.

Copyright

© 2012 H. A. Goubran and T. Burnouf. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.