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Fetal cell microchimerism in human cancers

Authors
Journal
Cancer Letters
0304-3835
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
287
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.05.017
Keywords
  • Microchimerism
  • Cancer
  • Thyroid
  • Mouse
  • Fetal Cells
  • Pregnancy

Abstract

Abstract The transfer of fetal cells into the maternal circulation occurs normally during pregnancy and the post-partum persistence of these cells in the maternal blood and tissues, known as fetal cell microchimerism, has been clearly demonstrated. However, the long-term consequences of this phenomenon are only beginning to be appreciated. In particular, whether microchimerism could be involved in the carcinogenetic process or whether fetal microchimeric cells could be able to differentiate in host tissues, participating in the maternal response to injury, is still matter of study. In this review, the possible role and the consequences of fetal cell microchimerism, as emerged from studies in animal models and in women with different types of cancer, will be presented.

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