The role of coagulation factors in cancer and malignancy-associated thrombosis.

It is now known that cancer and blood clotting are tightly connected. Cancer cells vastly upregulate specific blood clotting factors and this is believed to result in the formation of unwanted blood clots in veins and the lungs, often leading to fatal, thrombotic complications in cancer patients. In addition, my own works has shown that these cancer cell-expressed clotting factors appear to enable the tumor to grow, form blood vessels and spread to other organs. Nevertheless, it remains unclear which clotting factors are important to cancer development and how they co-operate in the occurrence of thrombosis in cancer patients. Therefore, the objective of my project is to unravel the role of these cancer cell-expressed clotting factors in cancer development and thrombosis, and I hypothesize that these states of disease are caused by interaction of clotting factors with each other and with specific cellular receptors. This hypothesis will be tested by investigating expression of clotting factors in large cancer patient cohorts, testing the influence of these factors on tumor cell behavior in novel in vitro set-ups, and detailing their effects on tumor growth and thrombosis in a unique set of murine disease models developed in my laboratory. Uncovering the mechanisms underlying the role(s) of clotting factors in tumor growth and thrombosis may eventually lead to novel therapeutical strategies in the treatment of cancer and thrombosis.