Contribution of platelets to tumour metastasis

Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Feb;11(2):123-34. doi: 10.1038/nrc3004.


Extensive experimental evidence shows that platelets support tumour metastasis. The activation of platelets and the coagulation system have a crucial role in the progression of cancer. Within the circulatory system, platelets guard tumour cells from immune elimination and promote their arrest at the endothelium, supporting the establishment of secondary lesions. These contributions of platelets to tumour cell survival and spread suggest platelets as a new avenue for therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / pathology*
  • Capillary Permeability
  • Cell Survival
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Platelet Activation*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors