viral cancer: The fusion of human cells is a normal process that leads, for instance, to the formation of muscle and bone. Viral infections can also cause cell fusion, but such cells are generally believed to die without consequences for the host. According to a recent study, however, cell fusion triggered by viruses is a possible contributing factor in the development of human cancer.
The study by Yuri Lazebnik and his colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the US raises concerns about the use of fusogenic viruses as vectors for human gene therapy or in other clinical applications.
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