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A melanoma patient with macrophage-cancer cell hybrids in the primary tumor, a lymph node metastasis and a brain metastasis

      Highlights

      • Targeting the attachment of the leucocyte to the cancer cell outer cell membrane.
      • Integration of the fusion partner genes into hybrid genomes.
      • Inhibition of post-hybridization events involving epistasis impacting gene expresstion for chemotaxis, intravasation, extravasation, and cell migration.

      Abstract

      In 1911 it was proposed that cancer might result from fusion and hybridization between macrophages and cancer cells. Using immunohistochemistry it was determined that essentially all solid tumors expressed macrophage-like molecules on their cell surface. More recently we have used forensic (STR) genetics that allows one to detect DNA from more than one individual in the same sample. By studying biopsies from individuals receiving allogeneic stem cell transplants and later developed solid tumor metastases, we were able to detect both donor and patient DNA sequences suggesting that hybrids were present. Previously we found hybrids in biopsies of a renal cell carcinoma, a melanoma in a brain metastasis and a melanoma in a primary tumor with lymph node metastases. Here we have traced hybrids from a primary melanoma to an axillary lymph node to a brain metastasis. This is the first time that the entire metastatic process has been documented.

      Keywords

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