Pawelek JM, Chakraborty AK.. Fusion of tumour cells with bone marrow-derived cells: a unifying explanation for metastasis. Nat Rev Cancer 8: 377-386

Department of Dermatology and the Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-08059, USA.
Nature Reviews Cancer (Impact Factor: 29.54). 06/2008; 8(5):377-86. DOI: 10.1038/nrc2371
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The causes of metastasis remain elusive despite vast information on cancer cells. We posit that cancer cell fusion with macrophages or other migratory bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) provides an explanation. BMDC-tumour hybrids have been detected in numerous animal models and recently in human cancer. Molecular studies indicate that gene expression in such hybrids reflects a metastatic phenotype. Should BMDC-tumour fusion be found to underlie invasion and metastasis in human cancer, new approaches for therapy would surely follow.

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Available from: Ashok K Chakraborty, Mar 22, 2014
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    • "Macrophages or other bone marrow-derived cells showed signs of fusion with metastasizing tumor cells in animal models as well as in myeloma patients (Pawelek and Chakraborty, 2008). Whereas fusion of normal cells in the body is tightly controlled, fusion events with tumor cells might produce up to 99% of dead or quiescent cells, but also 1% of proliferating cells with new, unwanted properties like increased proliferation rate, metastatic potential, drug resistance or resistance to apoptosis (Duelli and Lazebnik, 2003). "
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    • "The theory that cell fusion contributes to cancer progression was introduced almost 100 years ago providing a non-mutational mechanism that could explain the aberrant gene expression pattern associated with malignant cells (reviewed in [1] [2] [3] [4]). It has been proposed that cancer cells may fuse with different cell types including macrophages [5], stromal [6], epithelial [7], and endothelial cells [8] [9]. "
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