Platelets: A new reporter system for cancer diagnostics
The association of platelets and cancer has been known for a long time. Platelets are highly reactive components of the circulatory system, beyond haemostatic activity they contribute to various pathological conditions such as inflammation, atherosclerosis and cancer metastases.
Metastases may occur when tumor cells from a primary tumor migrate into the blood circulation. It is known that platelets are activated by cancer cells to transform into so called Tumor Educated Platelets (TEP). TMP’s can attach to circulating tumor cells and form platelet-tumor cell aggregates. Only very few cancer cells survive the host defense mechanism in distant organs however platelet-tumor cell aggregates protect cancer cells from detection of the immune defense system.
TEP’s are characterized by a differently expressed proteome. By investigating this difference, NeoProteomics has identified and patented sets of biomarkers for various cancer indications. These sets of biomarkers may allow to diagnose even early stage of cancer.