Sun-triggered protein ‘makes skin cancer worse’February 4th, 2011 - 5:07 pm ICT by ANI
London, Feb 4 (ANI): Scientists have discovered that an unexpected immune protein exacerbates cancer due to sun exposure.
Their study suggests that drugs blocking the protein might halt tumor growth in skin cancer patients.
Cutaneous melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, appears to be on the rise. And mortality rates from this difficult-to-treat disease are some of the highest in cancer.
Severe sunburns at an early age raise a person’s risk of cutaneous melanoma, but the way in which those burns lead to cancer has remained elusive.
In order to discover new ways of treating melanoma, Edward De Fabo, a research professor of in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and a co-corresponding author on the current paper, has been examining the pathway between ultraviolet (UV) rays and melanoma for over a decade.
“We ultimately want to figure out what goes wrong so that we can fix it,” De Fabo says.
In 2004, he and his collaborators confirmed suspicions that UV-B radiation, as opposed to UV-A, triggered melanoma.
And in the current study, they find that UV-B causes white blood cells called macrophages to migrate higher in the skin of mice and release an immune protein, interferon-y.
Instead of protecting the body like most interferon proteins do, interferon-y allowed tumors to grow by preventing the body’s natural immune response.
“We didn’t expect to see interferon-y aiding the tumor, instead of killing cancerous cells,” De Fabo says.
The study has been reported in the January 27th issue of Nature. (ANI)
- How breast cancer cells dodge immune system and survive - Feb 02, 2011
- Early UVA light exposure 'doesn't cause melanoma' - May 05, 2010
- Busting myths about tanning and sun protection - May 25, 2010
- Strawberry extract protects skin against UV rays - Aug 05, 2012
- Novel immune therapy for pancreatic cancer discovered - Mar 25, 2011
- How reovirus kills cancer cells - Feb 21, 2011
- Melanoma-initiating cell identified - Jul 01, 2010
- New hope in the fight against melanoma - Dec 14, 2010
- It's official: Indoor tanning linked to melanoma risk - May 28, 2010
- Key enzyme in melanoma cell development found - Jun 18, 2010
- Targeting protein helps keep melanoma tumour growth in check - Dec 10, 2010
- 'Immune profile' may guide chemotherapy for breast cancer - Apr 04, 2011
- New injectable drug hailed as milestone in treating deadly skin cancer - Mar 26, 2011
- Ultraviolet light 'helps skin cancer cells survive, proliferate' - Dec 08, 2010
- Many cancer cells have 'eat me' signal: Study - Dec 23, 2010
Tags: c and a co, cancerous cells, george washington university, immune protein, interferon, london feb, macrophages, melanoma, mortality rates, research professor, severe sunburns, skin cancer, skin cancer patients, sun exposure, tropical medicine, tumor growth, ultraviolet uv, university medical center, washington university medical, white blood cells