Platelets control hemostasis and play a key role in inflammation and immunity. However, platelet function may change during aging, and a role for these versatile cells in many age-related pathological processes is emerging. In addition to a well-known role in cardiovascular disease, platelet activity is now thought to contribute to cancer cell metastasis and tumor-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE) development. Worldwide, the great majority of all patients with cardiovascular disease and some with cancer receive anti-platelet therapy to reduce the risk of thrombosis. However, not only do thrombotic diseases remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, cancer, especially metastasis, is still the second cause of death worldwide. Understanding how platelets change during aging and how they may contribute to aging-related diseases such as cancer may contribute to steps taken along the road towards a “healthy aging” strategy. Here, we review the changes that occur in platelets during aging, and investigate how these versatile blood components contribute to cancer progression.

, , ,,
Cancer and Metastasis Reviews
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Faria, A.V.S. (Alessandra V. S.), Andrade, S.S. (Sheila S.), Peppelenbosch, M., Ferreira-Halder, C.V. (Carmen V.), & Fuhler, G. (2020). Platelets in aging and cancer—“double-edged sword”. Cancer and Metastasis Reviews. doi:10.1007/s10555-020-09926-2