Tumor-educated platelets as a noninvasive biomarker source for cancer detection and progression monitoring

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Abstract

Liquid biopsies represent a potential revolution in cancer diagnostics as a noninvasive method for detecting and monitoring diseases, complementary to or even replacing current tissue biopsy approaches. Several blood-based biosources and biomolecules, such as cell-free DNA and RNA, proteins, circulating tumor cells, and extracellular vesicles, have been explored for molecular test development. We recently discovered the potential of tumor-educated blood platelets (TEP) as a noninvasive biomarker trove for RNA biomarker panels. TEPs are involved in the progression and spread of several solid tumors, and spliced TEP RNA surrogate signatures can provide specific information on the presence, location, and molecular characteristics of cancers. So far, TEP samples from patients with different tumor types, including lung, brain, and breast cancers, have been tested, and it has been shown that TEPs from patients with cancer are distinct from those with inflammatory and other noncancerous diseases. It remains to be investigated how platelets are "educated," which mechanisms cause intraplatelet RNA splicing, and whether the relative contribution of specific platelet subpopulations changes in patients with cancer. Ultimately, TEP RNA may complement currently used biosources and biomolecules employed for liquid biopsy diagnosis, potentially enhancing the detection of cancer in an early stage and facilitating noninvasive disease monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3407-3412
JournalCancer Research
Volume78
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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