Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Faculté de pharmacie, Aix Marseille Université

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Cancer and Thrombosis : Involvement of Microparticles

Grants from the GFTC and the ARC association.

This project is currently performed by a PhD student Dr Diane Mege, MD).

Microparticles (MPs) are heterogeneous plasmatic membranes vesicles (0.1-1micro m) bearing proteins and biomarkers from the cells they are issues. They are released from different cell types, such as platelets, endothelial cells, leukocytes and erythrocytes, by budding of the outer cell membrane, through cell activation or apoptosis. Platelet MPs were originally studied because of their procoagulant activity. MPs play a role in numerous diseases, including infectious, autoimmune, inflammatory and cardio-vascular diseases, thromboembolic events and different cancers.

The Role of MPs in cancer is increasingly recognized, microparticles are involved in tumor growth, immune evasion, chemoresistance, initiation of tumor stem cell niche, neoangiogenesis and extracellular matrix degradation. Moreover, circulating plasmatic MPs would be the support of increased procoagulant activity associated with cancer. This increased risk of thromboembolic events, especially in pancreatic cancer (20%), is due to increased level of soluble activated TF. An increased MPs-TF activity in cancer patients with venous thromboembolism is described (Manly). Some authors have observed an increased level of total MPs in gastric, lung, ovarian and breast cancers, compared to healthy subjects.

Our goal is to characterize the number and activities of circulating microparticles in colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

Main collaborations : Team 1, VCRM. Pr Sastre, Hospital La Timone, Marseille ; Pr Farge Bancel, Hospital St louis, Paris ; GFTC : Groupe Francophone Thrombose et Cancer : http://www.thrombose-cancer.com