Cancer patients are at increased risk of coagulopathy such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Tumor-derived tissue factor (TF)-bearing microparticles (MPs) are associated with venous thromboembolic events in malignancy. MPs are small membrane vesicles that are released from many different cell types by exocytic budding of the plasma membrane in response to cellular activation or apoptosis. MPs may also be involved in clinical diseases because they express phospholipids, which function as procoagulants. A current feature of clinical applications regarding MPs is detection of TF-expressing MPs in cancer patients. In lung cancer patients, MPs induce metastasis and angiogenesis, and MPs may be a sign of vascular complications. In patients with various types of cancer, MPs possess CXCR4 and contribute to chemotaxis by stromal cell-derived factor 1, resulting in progression or metastasis of cancer. TF overexpression by cancer cells is closely associated with tumor progression, and TF-expressing MPs that are shed by cancer cells are linked to the genetic status of cancer.
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