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: 37.4). 06/2008; 8(5):377-86. DOI: 10.1038/nrc2371
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Sixty years later, this idea was expanded by proposing that hybridization of tumor cells with lymphocytes results in metastatic cells [37] and that cell fusion promotes the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of tumors [38]. The best defended theory is cancer cell fusion with macrophages or other migratory bone marrow-derived cells which provides a unifying explanation for metastasis [39]. Although host cell-cancer cell fusion has been demonstrated and well documented in animals [40], there is as yet far less information on human cancer. "
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    • "At least some of these hybrids become metastatic, exhibiting both motility and continuous cell division. The model is simple— white blood cell + non-metastatic cancer cell = metastatic cancer cell—yet it provides a profound and unifying explanation for metastasis (Figure 1)[4]. Highlights of Aichel's hypothesis and ensuing supportive evidence are presented in Table 1. "
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    • "Moreover, the elevated soluble serum ICMA-1 and VCAM-1 in patients have also been shown to be associated with the inflammatory reactions within tissues [27-31]. Recently novel metastatic theory has indicated that the cancer cell-leukocyte fusion play potential role in the cancer metastasis [33]. Therefore, the issue about whether resistin-induced HCC adhesion to the endothelium through ICAM-and VCAM-1 in HCC is regulated by leukocytes warrants further exploration. "
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