Cancer-associated-platelet-inspired nanomedicines for cancer therapy

Marzieh Geranpayehvaghei, Bahareh Dabirmanesh, Mohammad Khaledi, Mona Atabakhshi-Kashi, Chao Gao, Mohammad Taleb, Yinlong Zhang, Khosro Khajeh, Guangjun Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Platelets, with hemostasis and thrombosis activities, are one of the key components in the blood circulation. As a guard, they rapidly respond to any abnormal blood vessel injury signal and release their granules' contents, which induce their adhesion and aggregation on wound site for hemostasis. Recently, increasing evidence has indicated that platelets are critically involved in the growth and metastasis of cancer cells by releasing a variety of cytokines and chemokines to stimulate cancer cell proliferation and various angiogenic regulators to accelerate tumor angiogenesis. Platelets also secrete active transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) to promote the epithelial–mesenchymal transition of cancer cells and their extravasation from primary site, and form microthrombus on the surface of cancer cells to protect them from immune attack and high-speed shear force in the circulation. Therefore, blocking platelet–cancer cell interaction may be an attractive strategy to treat primary tumor and/or prevent cancer metastasis. However, systemic inhibition or depletion of platelets brings risk of severe bleeding complication. Cancer-associated-platelets-targeted nanomedicines and biomimetic nanomedicines coated with platelet membrane can be used for targeted anticancer drug delivery, due to their natural targeting ability to tumor cells and platelets. In the current review, we first summarized the platelet mechanisms of action in physiological condition and their multiple roles in cancer progression and conventional antiplatelet therapeutics. We then highlighted the recent progress on the design and fabrication of cancer-associated-platelet-targeted nanomedicines and platelet membrane coating nanomedicines for cancer therapy. Finally, we discussed opportunities and challenges and offered our thoughts for the future development. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Lipid-Based Structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1702
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • cancer therapy
  • cancer-associated platelets
  • nanomedicines
  • platelet membrane coating nanomedicines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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