Is it possible for a cancerous tumor to occur at the embryonic stage of development? The answer is YES !!!
Each cancer cell is dysfunctional in its own way. Accidental mutations in the DNA of a cell initiate its abnormal function. And as additional mutations accumulate over time, this becomes the reason for the diversity of types of tumors in different patients, even if they are cancerous tumors in the same tissue.
By analyzing the genetic patterns in cancer cells, scientists have found that programmed genetic instructions are often are active at different stages of embryonic development of the fetus. The whole sets of genes that lead to early embryo growth and the subsequent formation of limbs and other structures in the womb usually do not work during the rest of life, but these genetic programs are sometimes turned on again in many tumor cells.
Comparing activity genes in nearly three dozen types of cancer and precancerous conditions have managed to group seemingly different diseases into three categories. Tumors with early embryonic signatures included adenocarcinoma of the lungs, colorectal adenoma, T-cell lymphoma, and some types of thyroid cancer. The highly aggressive cancers in this group appeared to be the most undifferentiated and embryonic.
Tumors with gene signatures that reflect patterns of third trimester gene expression and neonatal development tend to be slow growing types, including prostate and ovarian cancers , adrenal adenoma and liver dysplasia. The third category of tumors was a mixed group of diseases, in which the activity corresponded to aspects of the first two groups.
The studies found genetic programs at the work of a group of proteins produced almost exclusively by tumors and cells of the germ line of the sperm and ovum. The specificity of the antigens makes them ideal targets for cancer vaccines or antibody-based drugs.
The fact that cancer cells turn on these normally disabled programs suggests that important characteristics of cancer are not accidental. The cell that mutates looks for genes that can help it thrive and finds them in the gene sets of embryonic development.
The activity of genes associated with embryonic stem cells is a common feature in the most undifferentiated and aggressive tumors. It has been proven that tumor cells can grow and spread by activating genetic programs that are usually functional only during the development of the embryo.
Yes, it certainly can. The most striking example is the so-called. trophoblastic disease, which in a certain percentage of cases can turn into a malignant tumor - invasive cystic drift, chorionic carcinoma, embryonic cancer, malignant teratoma. Fortunately, these tumors are rare. More often pre-natal preconditions for the formation of malignant tumors (various disorders of the movement of germ cells) are formed, which are realized after birth.