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Plausibility of trophoblastic-like regulation of cancer tissue

Authors Piechowski J

Received 15 October 2018

Accepted for publication 30 April 2019

Published 31 May 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 5033—5046

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S190932

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rituraj Purohit


Jean Piechowski

Physician-Radiotoxicologist, Paris F-75011, France

Background: Thus far, a well-established logical pattern of malignancy does not exist. The current approach to cancer properties is primarily descriptive with usually, for each of them, extensive analyses of the underlying associated biomolecular mechanisms. However, this remains a catalog and it would be valuable to determine the organizational chart that could account for their implementation, hierarchical links and input into tumor regulation.
Hypothesis: Striking phenotypic similarities exist between trophoblast (invasive and expanding early placenta) and cancer regarding cell functions, logistics of development, means of protection and capacity to hold sway over the host organism. The concept of cancer cell trophoblastic-like transdifferentiation appears to be a rational proposal in an attempt to explain this analogy and provide a consistent insight into how cancer cells are functioning. Should this concept be validated, it could pave the way to promising research and therapeutic perspectives given that the trophoblastic properties are vital for the tumor while they are permanently epigenetically turned off in normal cells. Specifically targeting expression of the trophoblastic master genes could thereby be envisaged to jeopardize the tumor and its metastases without, in principle, inducing adverse side effects in the healthy tissues.
Conclusion: A wide set of functional features of cancer tissue regulation, including some apparently paradoxical facts, was reviewed. Cancer cell misuse of physiological trophoblastic functions can clearly account for them, which identifies trophoblastic-like transdifferentiation as a likely key component of malignancy and makes it a potential relevant anticancer target.

Keywords: cancer stem cells, trophoblast, transdifferentiation, epigenetics, immune system

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