The origin and concentration of circulating microparticles differ according to cancer type and evolution: A prospective single-center study

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Microparticles are plasma membrane vesicles produced by apoptotic or activated cells and resting cancer cells. The concentration, origin and procoagulant properties of circulating microparticles are reported to differ according to pathological settings (inflammation, cancer and cardiovascular diseases). In case of cancer, different studies have reported a variation in the concentration of circulating microparticles, with an increase in procoagulant and tumor-associated antigen-bearing microparticles. However, the cancer specificity of these results remains unknown. The objective was to establish a specific signature of colorectal and pancreatic cancers (CRC, PC) by characterizing circulating microparticles. Patients presenting with CRC, PC, inflammatory bowel or pancreatic diseases, and healthy subjects, were prospectively included. Circulating microparticles were analyzed by flow cytometry, combining the analysis of Annexin V-positive with characterization of their origin and determination of their procoagulant activities. We included 85, 36, 15, 18 and 20 patients presenting with CRC, PC, inflammatory bowel or pancreatic diseases, and healthy subjects, respectively. Here, we depict a specific signature, which differed between CRC, PC, associated inflammatory bowel and pancreatic diseases and healthy subjects. Furthermore, in patients with remission, this signature returned to the levels observed in associated inflammatory or healthy patients. Our results indicate that circulating microparticles differ depending on the evolution of a cancer. The analysis of the circulating microparticles reveals the specificity of the signature and can be used as a new complex biomarker reflecting the evolution of the disease.

What's new?

This is a prospective single-centre study, which describes for the first time the ‘microparticulosome’ or ‘microparticles’ signature, associated with colorectal or pancreatic cancers, and inflammatory bowel or pancreatic diseases. This microparticulosome may, for instance, be characterized for a single individual during diagnosis, and its evolution may constitute a pertinent indicator for the evolution of the disease. It is the matter of a current patent, in order to be used as a new digestive cancer biomarker.

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