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.

Aging, Cancer, Platelet function, Platelet reactivity,
Cancer and Metastasis Reviews
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

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