Platelets and Angiogenesis in Malignancy

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


There is increasing evidence that platelets play an important role in the process of tumor angiogenesis. Thrombocytosis is a frequent finding in cancer patients (10–57%). Although the mechanisms underlying thrombocytosis are not yet fully elucidated, tumor-derived factors with thrombopoietin-like activity and growth factors, platelet-derived microparticles, and factors secreted from bone marrow endothelial cells, as well as growth factors released by megakaryocytes (acting via an autocrine loop), are postulated to influence this process.The progression of cancer is associated with hypercoagulability, which results from direct influences of tumor cells and diverse indirect mechanisms. Activated platelets serve as procoagulant surfaces amplifying the coagulation reactions. It is well known that hemostatic proteins are involved in different steps of the angiogenic process. Furthermore, platelets adhering to endothelium facilitate adhesion of mononuclear cells (which exert various proangiogenic activities) to endothelial cells and their transmigration to the extravascular space. It was also documented that platelets induce angiogenesis in vivo. Platelets are a rich source of proangiogenic factors. They also store and release angiogenesis inhibitors. In addition, platelets express surface growth factor receptors, which may regulate the process of angiogenesis. Platelets also contribute directly to the process of basement membrane and extracellular matrix proteolysis by releasing proteinases, or indirectly via inducing endothelial cells and tumor cells to release proteolytic enzymes, as well as through the proteolytic activities of platelet-derived growth factors.The multidirectional activities of platelets in the process of new blood vessel formation during tumor development and metastasis formation may create the possibility of introducing antiplatelet agents for antiangiogenic therapy in cancer patients. Thus far experimental studies employing inhibitors of glycoprotein IIb-IIIa have yielded promising results.

    loading  Loading Related Articles