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Blood. 2011 Sep 29;118(13):3680-3. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-03-344408. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Blood platelets contain tumor-derived RNA biomarkers.

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Neuro-oncology Research Group, VU University Medical Center, Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Diagnostic platforms providing biomarkers that are highly predictive for diagnosing, monitoring, and stratifying cancer patients are key instruments in the development of personalized medicine. We demonstrate that tumor cells transfer (mutant) RNA into blood platelets in vitro and in vivo, and show that blood platelets isolated from glioma and prostate cancer patients contain the cancer-associated RNA biomarkers EGFRvIII and PCA3, respectively. In addition, gene-expression profiling revealed a distinct RNA signature in platelets from glioma patients compared with normal control subjects. Because platelets are easily accessible and isolated, they may form an attractive platform for the companion diagnostics of cancer.

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