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Inhibition of coagulation greatly limits cancer metastasis in many experimental models. Cancer cells trigger coagulation, through expression of tissue factor or P-selectin ligands that have correlated with worse prognosis in human clinical studies. Cancer cells also affect coagulation through expression of thrombin and release of microparticles that augment coagulation. In the cancer-bearing host, coagulation facilitates tumour progression through release of platelet granule contents, inhibition of Natural Killer cells and recruitment of macrophages. We are revisiting this literature in the light of recent studies in which treatment of clinical cohorts with anticoagulant drugs led to diminished metastasis.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





433 - 441


aspirin, coagulation, macrophages, metastasis, tissue factor, Animals, Anticoagulants, Blood Coagulation, Blood Platelets, Cysteine Endopeptidases, Cytoplasmic Granules, Hirudins, Humans, Killer Cells, Natural, Lung Neoplasms, Macrophages, Mice, Neoplasm Metastasis, Neoplasm Proteins, Neoplasms, Experimental, Neoplastic Cells, Circulating, Neuraminidase, P-Selectin, Platelet Activation, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors, Rats, Thrombin, Thrombophilia, Thromboplastin