Olsson AK, Cedervall J
Platelets 29 (6) 569-573 [2018-09-00; online 2018-03-27]
Thrombosis is a frequent issue in cancer patients. Tumor-induced platelet activation and coagulation does not only constitute a significant risk for thrombosis, but also contribute to tumor progression by promoting critical processes such as angiogenesis and metastasis. In addition to their role in hemostasis, platelets are increasingly recognized as regulators of inflammation. By modulating the immune system, platelets regulate several aspects of cancer-associated pathology. Platelets influence the inflammatory response in cancer by affecting the activation status of the endothelium and by recruiting leukocytes to primary and metastatic tumor sites, as well as to distant organs unaffected by tumor growth. Furthermore, platelets participate in the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps, which can promote metastasis, thrombosis, and contribute to organ failure. In this review, we discuss the role of platelets as coordinators of the immune system during malignant disease and the potential of targeting platelets to prevent cancer-associated pathology.
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