The development of targeted therapy drugs acting on tumor growth and progression is greatly expanding
these last years. Among them kinase inhibitors have a prominent position and have demonstrated efficacy and
clinical benefits in solid and hematologic malignancies. Compared to conventional systemic cytotoxic chemotherapeutic
agents, their specific mechanism of action limits the occurrence of adverse events. However, as targeted
kinases are shared by normal cells, their inhibition can affect physiological cell function. In this review we will focus
on the side effects of kinase inhibitors on blood platelets which actively use kinase-related signalling pathways
to prevent haemorrhages following vessel injury. Major functions of platelets are to adhere to the subendothelial
matrix and to aggregate to form a haemostatic plug preventing excessive blood loss upon vascular lesion. Several
kinase inhibitors including dasatinib and ibrutinib have been reported to affect specific steps of platelet activation process and to increase
bleeding risk. This has important clinical implications particularly in patients treated with antithrombotic drugs. We will describe the effect
of kinase inhibitors known to affect platelet activation and discuss the potential impact of those under development that may also interfere
with platelet functions.
Keywords: Targeted drugs, anticancer therapies, kinase inhibitors, platelet functions, haemostasis-related adverse events.
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