Platelet-targeted pharmacologic treatments as anti-cancer therapy


              <p>Platelets act as multifunctional cells participating in immune response, inflammation, allergy, tissue regeneration, and lymphoangiogenesis. Among the best-established aspects of a role of platelets in non-hemostatic or thrombotic disorders, there is their participation in cancer invasion and metastasis. The interaction of many different cancer cells with platelets leads to platelet activation, and on the other hand platelet activation is strongly instrumental to the pro-carcinogenic and pro-metastatic activities of platelets. It is thus obvious that over the last years a lot of interest has focused on the possible chemopreventive effect of platelet-targeted pharmacologic treatments. This article gives an overview of the platelet-targeted pharmacologic approaches that have been attempted in the prevention of cancer development, progression, and metastasis, including the application of anti-platelet drugs currently used for cardiovascular disease and of new and novel pharmacologic strategies. Despite the fact that very promising results have been obtained with some of these approaches in pre-clinical models, with the exclusion of aspirin, clinical evidence of a beneficial effect of anti-platelet agents in cancer is however still largely missing. Future studies with platelet-targeted drugs in cancer must carefully deal with design issues, and in particular with the careful selection of patients, and/or explore novel platelet targets in order to provide a solution to the critical issue of the risk/benefit profile of long-term anti-platelet therapy in the prevention of cancer progression and dissemination.</p><br /><br />


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