Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Provide Explanation For How Cancer Spreads

Date:
May 1, 2008
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Metastasis, the spread of cancer throughout the body, can be explained by the fusion of a cancer cell with a white blood cell in the original tumor, according to Yale School of Medicine researchers, who say that this single event can set the stage for cancer's migration to other parts of the body.

Metastasis, the spread of cancer throughout the body, can be explained by the fusion of a cancer cell with a white blood cell in the original tumor, according to Yale School of Medicine researchers, who say that this single event can set the stage for cancer's migration to other parts of the body.

Their work was published in Nature Reviews Cancer. The studies, spanning 15 years, have revealed that the newly formed hybrid of the cancer cell and white blood cell adapts the white blood cell's natural ability to migrate around the body, while going through the uncontrolled cell division of the original cancer cell. This causes a metastatic cell to emerge, which like a white blood cell, can migrate through tissue, enter the circulatory system and travel to other organs.

"This is a unifying explanation for metastasis," said John Pawelek, a researcher in the Department of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and at Yale Cancer Center, who conducted the studies with colleague Ashok K. Chakraborty and several other Yale scientists. "Although we know a vast amount about cancer, how a cancer cell becomes metastatic still remains a mystery."

The fusion theory was first proposed in the early 1900s and has attracted a lot of scientific interest over the years. Pawelek and his colleagues began their research several years ago by fusing white blood cells with tumor cells. These experimental hybrids the researchers observed, were remarkably metastatic and lethal when implanted into mice. In addition, the scientists noted, some of the molecules the hybrids used to metastasize originated from white blood cells, and these molecules were the same as those used by metastatic cells in human cancers. Pawelek and his team then validated previous findings that hybridization occurs naturally in mice, and results in metastatic cancer.

"Viewing the fusion of a cancer cell and a white blood cell as the initiating event for metastasis suggests that metastasis is virtually another disease imposed on the pre-existing cancer cell," said Pawelek. "We expect this to open new areas for therapy based on the fusion process itself."

The research team recently began studying cancers from individuals who had received a bone marrow transplant--a new source of white blood cells for the patient. Genes from the transplanted white blood cells were found in the patient tumor cells, indicating that fusion with white blood cells had occurred. But Pawelek said these studies must be greatly expanded before his team can say with certainty that white blood cell fusion accounts for cancer metastasis in humans.

"To date, the fusion theory and the considerable evidence supporting it have largely been overlooked by the cancer research community," said Pawelek. "The motivation for our article is to encourage other laboratories to join in."

Citation: Nature Reviews Cancer 8: 377-386 (May, 2008).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Scientists Provide Explanation For How Cancer Spreads." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080429174819.htm>.
Yale University. (2008, May 1). Scientists Provide Explanation For How Cancer Spreads. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080429174819.htm
Yale University. "Scientists Provide Explanation For How Cancer Spreads." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080429174819.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins