New Targets for Therapy
Thus, while much more work needs to be done to establish whether the fusion theory is operative in human cancer, circumstantial evidence is growing for the widespread involvement of fusion in tumor progression.
In my opinion, a stepwise mutation model cannot readily explain acquisition of the complex gene-expression patterns necessary for migration and metastasis. Not only does the fusion theory explain the onset of metastasis through a single initiating event but actual data from macrophages-melanoma hybrids reveal that fusion causes just what the theory predicts it should.
Looking ahead, this could open up many new potential targets for therapy, for example, development of therapies for suppression of cancer cell fusion or for targeting GnT-V, β1,6-branched oligosaccharides and autophagy. But, we need to learn more before such ideas can be translated to the clinic. I would urge more academic scientists and biotechology companies to consider entering this most interesting area of cancer research.