Hypercoagulation and complement: Connected players in tumor development and metastases

Silvia Guglietta, Maria Rescigno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hypercoagulation is a common feature of several tumors to the extent that individuals with coagulation defects often present with occult visceral cancers. Recent evidence has shown that hypercoagulation is not just a mere secondary effect due to the presence of the tumor, rather it actively contributes to tumor development and dissemination. Among the numerous mechanisms that can contribute to cancer-associated hypercoagulation, the ones involving immune-mediated processes are gaining increasing attention. In particular, complement cascade and hypercoagulation are one inducing the other in a vicious circle that involves neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation. Together, in this feedback loop, they can promote the protumorigenic phenotype of immune cells and the protection of tumor cells from immune attack, ultimately favouring tumor development, progression and metastases formation. In this review, we summarize the role of these processes in cancer development and highlight new possible intervention strategies based on anticoagulants that can arrest this vicious circle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-586
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Cancer
  • Complement
  • Hypercoagulation
  • Neutrophil
  • Neutrophil extracellular trap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hypercoagulation and complement: Connected players in tumor development and metastases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this