Author(s): Chen Z, Fadiel A, Naftolin F, Eichenbaum KD, Xia Y
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Abstract Circulation cell free DNA (cf-DNA) is of considerable interest to oncology researchers seeking to isolate specific cancer markers. Here, we focus on the origin and biological implications of cf-DNA, exploring its potential roles in cancer biology and medicine. We hypothesize that cf-DNA is primarily released by living cancer cells in addition to apoptotic or necrotic cancer cells for three reasons: (1) following radiotherapy, cf-DNA quantities are significantly reduced in a high percentage of patients although radiation-induced massive apoptosis is expected; (2) cancer cell DNA concentration in cultured supernatants increases with cell proliferation when few apoptotic or necrotic cells are present; and (3) DNA concentration increases in normal lymphocyte cultures following stimulation with phytohemagglutinin, lipopolysaccharide or antigen. Our hypotheses have major biological implications in cancer biology. First, cancer cf-DNA may transform normal cells and form adjacent or remote metastases or second primary cancer. In this context, we also have raised an alarming advice that the cancer may be potentially infectious. Secondly, if a normal cf-DNA contains cytokine sequence, it may behave like an intrinsic DNA vaccine, producing therapeutic cytokine. If normal cf-DNA contains a sequence of a non-mutated oncogene or tumor suppressor gene, homologous recombination with the cancer genome may occur leading to knock out mutated oncogene or tumor suppressor gene that could thus elicit a spontaneous remission of cancer.
This article was published in Med Hypotheses
and referenced in Angiology: Open Access