Growing interest is recently being focused on the role played by the platelets in favoring hepatocellular cancer (HCC) growth and dissemination. The present review reports in detail both the experimental and clinical evidence published on this topic. Several growth factors and angiogenic molecules specifically secreted by platelets are directly connected with tumor progression and neo-angiogenesis. Among them, we can list the platelet-derived growth factor, the vascular endothelial growth factor, the endothelial growth factor, and serotonin. Platelets are also involved in tumor spread, favoring endothelium permeabilization and tumor cells’ extravasation and survival in the bloodstream. From the bench to the clinics, all of these aspects were also investigated in clinical series, showing an evident correlation between platelet count and size of HCC, tumor biological behavior, metastatic spread, and overall survival rates. Moreover, a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the platelet–tumor axis represents a paramount aspect for optimizing both current tumor treatment and development of new therapeutic strategies against HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1568
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Integrins
  • Platelet-derived growth factor
  • Platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio
  • Selectins
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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