Medindia

X

Fusion of Cancer Cell and White Blood Cell Gives Rise to Metastatic Tumor

by Kathy Jones on  July 5, 2013 at 10:30 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
The fusion of a leukocyte, or white blood cell, and a cancer cell that leads to the formation of a genetic hybrid, was found to increase the risk of human metastatic tumor, a joint study conducted by researchers at Yale Cancer Center, Denver Police Crime Lab and the University of Colorado reveals.
 Fusion of Cancer Cell and White Blood Cell Gives Rise to Metastatic Tumor
Fusion of Cancer Cell and White Blood Cell Gives Rise to Metastatic Tumor
Advertisement

Their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, may answer the question of how cancer cells travel from the primary tumor's site of origin to distant organs and tissues of the body — the deadly process of metastasis.

Advertisement
Such a theory was first proposed as an explanation for metastasis more than a century ago. But until now, the theory was unproven in human cancer because genomic differences between cells from the same patient cannot be distinguished. To get around this problem, the researchers analyzed genomic DNA in the secondary malignancies of a patient who had a melanoma brain metastasis and had received a bone marrow transplant from his brother.

They found signature genes from both the patient and donor together in the tumor cells, providing the first evidence that leukocytes (in this case from the donor) can fuse with cancer cells and initiate a tumor.

"Our results provide the first proof in humans of a theory, proposed in 1911 by a German pathologist, that metastasis can occur when a leukocyte and cancer cell fuse and form a genetic hybrid," said corresponding author John Pawelek, research faculty in the dermatology department of the Yale School of Medicine. "This could open the way to new therapy targets, but much work needs to be done to determine how fusion occurs, the frequency of such hybrids in human cancers, and the potential role of hybrids in metastasis," he added.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All