Scientists Develop Skin Cancer Blocking Drug

CB107876According to a study recently published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, skin cancer may soon be treated with a potent drug.

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in the United Kingdom have revealed the effects of a new class of drugs that can treat malignant melanomas. The study was funded by Cancer Research UK, and the Wellcome Trust, and may be the next step in finding an effective way to stop and kill cancer cells.

Malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and so far, cannot be treated with any type of drug.Skin cancer patients typically have to undergo extensive surgery and treatments to reduce and eliminate the cancer cells, but no one has found an effective cure.

The drug was developed after researchers traced human melanoma to the BRAF protein, a protein that stimulates the growth of melanoma cells. The drug they developed actively blocks the activity of this protein, and may be able to selectively kill the melanoma cells completely.The drug is made with chemicals called pyridoimidazalones, and a set of treatments may be effective at stopping the spread of cancer cells, and killing off cancer completely.Researchers say the recent tests have shown remarkable results on their patients and the drugs have very few – if any – side effects.

You can reduce your risk of developing malignant melanoma and various levels of skin cancer by wearing sunscreen even when the sun is not out, and avoiding excessive sun exposure.Any changes to the appearance of moles, scars and other skin pigmentation need to be screened by a professional dermatologist; early detection of skin cancer is one of the best preventative cures, and may help reduce the chances of developing a deadly cancer.

Still, there is hope for those who are going through the stages of full-blown skin cancer with drugs that will target the mutated genes.

Further Reading

  • Up until now, dermatologists have been trying a variety of different skin removal techniques to get rid of precancerous skin lesions.

  • Topical agents, diet and certain medicines presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago is showing promise for preventing UV-induced skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and dermatologists are now encouraging the public to be conscientious about the amount of sun they are exposed to, and taking extra steps to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis.

  • Individuals with a rare skin disease called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) can improve their condition with the transfer of bone marrow stem cells. A team of medical researchers has found that bone marrow stem cells can effectively treat the disease and help to repair the skin and speed up the healing process. This skin disease cannot be treated with conventional dermatology procedures.