Malignancy arises and progresses in tight association with changes in the tumor microenvironment and deregulation of hemostatic system. Cancer induces hemostatic imbalance through production and secretion of procoagulant substances, suppression of anticoagulant mechanisms, endothelial activation, and angiogenic switch. Cancer cells are equipped with certain coagulation signaling receptors such as tissue factor (TF) and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). Tissue factor: as major initiator of coagulation, TF is considered the main cause for hypercoagulability in cancer. Constitutive TF expression by cancer cells is a hallmark of malignancy rendering tumors proangiogenic and prometastatic. TF fosters metastasis through coagulation-dependent pathways leading to fibrin deposition in the evolving premetastatic niche. TF has been identified as an independent predictor for metastatic development and adverse prognosis. uPAR: Tissue overexpression of uPAR is demonstrated in almost all human cancers and is associated with advanced disease. Increased uPAR expression is driven by molecular events involving K-ras and SRC oncogenes. Transactivation of these receptors, mediated by binding to hemostatic proteins, activates intracellular signaling pathways, modulates gene expression and facilitates processes of tumor initiation, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, anoikis, and metastasis. By manipulating hemostatic processes, tumor induces tolerant host environment necessary for evasion of defense attacks, survival, and progression.
Part of the book: Tumor Metastasis