Platelet-mimicry of cancer cells: Epiphenomenon with clinical significance

József Tímár, József Tóvári, Erzsébet Rásó, Livia Mészáros, Bíborka Bereczky, Károly Lapis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

56 Citations (Scopus)


Stem cell mimicry of cancer cells has been known for a long time and is considered to be responsible for ectopic gene expressions. The stem cell characteristics of tumor cells are shown to be involved in epithelial- mesenchymal transition and in the phenomenon of vascular mimicry. Certain cancer types acquire a geno-phenotype closely resembling the platelets and express several megakaryocytic genes (adhesion receptors αIIbβ3, thrombin receptor and PECAM/CD31 and/or platelet-type 12-LOX) able to activate the coagulation cascade or the platelets themselves. Here we define these potentials as platelet mimicry of cancer cells typical of pancreatic, breast, prostate, colorectal and urogenital cancers and melanoma. Data all support that platelet mimicry of certain cancer types is an important factor in their hematogenous dissemination and provides an attractive therapeutic target. Besides the long-available preclinical data, clinical trials have only recently provided evidence that targeting platelet mimicry of cancers is an efficient way to prevent tumor progression. The systematic discovery of the markers of platelet mimicry in various cancer types and their molecular targeting may provide new supportive therapeutic modalities for the management of the progressing disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-201
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Hematogenous dissemination
  • Megakaryocyte genes
  • Stem cell mimicry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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