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Genève, Switzerland

Anker P.,Eclosion SA | Stroun M.,OncoXL
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy | Year: 2012

Introduction: J.B. Lamarck in 1809 was the first to present a theory of evolution. He proposed it was due to the adaptation of species to environmental changes, this adaptation being acquired by the offspring. In 1868, Darwin suggested that cells excrete gemmules, which circulate through the body and reach the gonads where they are transmitted to the next generation. His main argument came from graft hybrids. Areas covered: In the fifties and sixties, Russian geneticists, rejecting neo-Darwinism, said that acquired characteristics were the basis of evolution. The main experiments on which they based their theory were the transmission of hereditary characteristics by a special technique of grafting between two varieties of plants. We repeated this kind of experiment and also succeeded in obtaining hereditary modifications of the pupil plants that acquired some characteristics of the mentor variety. Rather than adopting the views of the Russian scientists, we suggested that DNA was circulating between the mentor and pupil plants. Hirata's group have shown recently, by using molecular techniques such as cloning, RFLP PCR and sequencing some genes of their graft hybrids of pepper plants, that transfer of informative molecules from the mentor to the pupil plant does exist. Nucleic acids are actively released by cells; they circulate in the body. They can transform oncogenically or trigger antibody response but the only genetic transformation showing that DNA can go from the soma to the germen comes from graft hybrids. Expert opinion: This suggests that circulating nucleic acids, in this case DNA, like Darwin's gemmules, play a role in the mechanism of evolution. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd. Source


Trejo-Becerril C.,Instituto Nacional Of Cancerologia | Perez-Cardenas E.,Instituto Nacional Of Cancerologia | Taja-Chayeb L.,Instituto Nacional Of Cancerologia | Anker P.,OncoXL | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

It is known that cancer progresses by vertical gene transfer, but this paradigm ignores that DNA circulates in higher organisms and that it is biologically active upon its uptake by recipient cells. Here we confirm previous observations on the ability of cell-free DNA to induce in vitro cell transformation and tumorigenesis by treating NIH3T3 recipient murine cells with serum of colon cancer patients and supernatant of SW480 human cancer cells. Cell transformation and tumorigenesis of recipient cells did not occur if serum and supernatants were depleted of DNA. It is also demonstrated that horizontal cancer progression mediated by circulating DNA occurs via its uptake by recipient cells in an in vivo model where immunocompetent rats subjected to colon carcinogenesis with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine had increased rate of colonic tumors when injected in the dorsum with human SW480 colon carcinoma cells as a source of circulating oncogenic DNA, which could be offset by treating these animals with DNAse I and proteases. Though the contribution of biologically active molecules other than DNA for this phenomenon to occur cannot be ruled out, our results support the fact that cancer cells emit into the circulation biologically active DNA to foster tumor progression. Further exploration of the horizontal tumor progression phenomenon mediated by circulating DNA is clearly needed to determine whether its manipulation could have a role in cancer therapy. © 2012 Trejo-Becerril et al. Source


Garcia-Olmo D.C.,General University Hospital of Albacete | Dominguez C.,Hospital Universitario La Paz | Garcia-Arranz M.,Hospital Universitario La Paz | Anker P.,OncoXL | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2010

It has been proposed that cell-free nucleic acids in the plasma participate in tumorigenesis and the development of metastases via transfection-like uptake of such nucleic acids by susceptible cells. This putative phenomenon is tentatively referred to as "genometastasis." In the present study, we examined the effects on cultured cells of plasma from healthy individuals and from patients with colon cancer. Cultures of NIH-3T3 cells and human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC) were supplemented with samples of plasma from patients with K-ras-mutated colorectal tumors or from healthy subjects using two different protocols: direct addition of plasma to cultures in standard plates and addition in the absence of contact between plasma and cells, which were separated by a membrane with 0.4-μm pores. In plasma-treated hASCs, no K-ras-mutated sequences were detected by real-time PCR. In contrast, in most cultures of plasma-treated NIH-3T3 cells (murine cells), the transfer of human DNA occurred, as verified by the detection of human K-ras sequences, p53 sequences, and β-globin-encoding sequences. Moreover, NIH-3T3 cells that had been cultured with plasma from patients with colon cancer were oncogenically transformed, as shown by the development of carcinomas in nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient mice after the injection of such cells. Microscopic analysis of membranes that had separated plasma from cultured cells confirmed the complete absence of cells in the plasma. We only observed noncell particles, having diameters of <0.4 μm. Our results indicate that plasma from cancer patients is able to transform cultured cells oncogenically, supporting the previously proposed hypothesis of genometastasis. ©2010 AACR. Source

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