Tumor-Educated Platelets: A Review of Current and Potential Applications in Solid Tumors

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Cureus. 2021 Nov 1;13(11):e19189. doi: 10.7759/cureus.19189. eCollection 2021 Nov.


In this current era of precision medicine, liquid biopsy poses a unique opportunity for an easily accessible, comprehensive molecular profile that would allow for the identification of therapeutic targets and sequential monitoring. Solid tumors are definitively diagnosed by analyzing primary tumor tissue, but surgical sampling is not always sufficient to generate a comprehensive genetic fingerprint at the time of diagnosis, or an appropriate means for continued monitoring. Platelets are known to have a dynamic, bidirectional relationship with tumors, acting beyond their role of hemostasis. Tumor-educated platelets (TEP) are modified by the tumor in multiple ways and act as a carrier and protector of metastasis. Data so far have shown that the mRNA in TEP can be harnessed for cancer diagnostics, with many potential applications.

PMID:34873529 | PMC:PMC8635758 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.19189