Semin Thromb Hemost
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1606182
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Platelet RNA in Cancer Diagnostics

Lee-Ann Tjon-Kon-Fat1, Nik Sol2, Thomas Wurdinger3, 4, R. Jonas A. Nilsson1
  • 1Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umea University, Umea, Sweden
  • 2Cancer Center Amsterdam, Department of Neurology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 3Cancer Center Amsterdam, Department of Neurosurgery, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 4Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Neuroscience Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
13 September 2017 (eFirst)


Platelets are involved in several steps of cancer metastasis. During this process, platelets are exposed to the tumor and its environment, thereby exchanging biomolecules with the tumor cells and resulting in tumor-mediated “education” of the platelets and a change in their RNA profile. Analysis of platelet RNA profiles or direct measurement of tumor-derived biomarkers within platelets can provide information on ongoing cancer-related processes in the individual (e.g., whether the patient has cancer, the tumor type, and possibly identify oncogenic alterations driving the disease for treatment selection). The close interaction with the disease process and the ability to respond to systemic alterations make platelets an interesting biosource for implementation in precision medicine.