Microparticles (MPs) are membrane vesicles released by platelets during activation or apoptosis. PMPs stimulate coagulation and cell adhesion to the vascular endothelium, both of which being important in the development of cancer progression. We investigated the correlation between microparticles and cancer advancement. The percentage of PMPs was measured by flow cytometry in 22 colorectal cancer patients and in 20 healthy subjects. The patients were divided into two groups according to the presence or lack of lymph node metastases. The percentage of PMPs was significantly higher in patients than in healthy subjects (p < 0.001). We observed a positive correlation between PMPs and the presence of lymph node metastases (r = 0.63, p < 0.003). This high correlation may suggest that PMPs are associated with lymph node involvement and cancer progression.
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