Code 48176
PublishDate: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 14:42

Blood thinners may hel

They found high levels of platelets were more common in women with an advanced case and who had shorter survival.

Platelets are components of cells that clump together to stop bleeding. Having an excessively high level of platelets is called thrombocytosis. Doctors have long known that thrombocytosis is associated with cancer Latimes reported.

In the new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston analyzed data from 619 women with ovarian cancer. 

They found high levels of platelets were more common in women with an advanced case and who had shorter survival. 

The study showed that tumors generate a protein called interleukin-6, which fosters the increase in platelets and contributes to tumor growth. Medications that blocked interleukin-6 reduced the platelet count.

The study suggests that blood-thinning medications, such as heparin or aspirin, may be a valuable addition to some types of cancer treatment.

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