Melanoma is Australia’s third most common cancer with more than 13,000 new cases expected to be discovered this year. While Melanoma only represents 2-percent of all skin cancers, according to Melanoma Institute Australia it causes 75-percent of skin cancer deaths.
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A significant new discovery could bring those numbers down drastically as researchers at Michigan State University have discovered a man-made drug that can reduce the spread of melanoma cells by up to 90-percent!
Co-Author of the study, Pharmacology Professor Richard Neubig told TV station WKBN in the US, “It’s been a challenge developing small-molecule drugs that can block this gene activity that works as a signalling mechanism known to be important in melanoma progression”. He added, “Our chemical compound is actually the same one that we’ve been working on to potentially treat the disease scleroderma, which now we’ve found works effectively on this type of cancer.”
The compound works by turning off the cell growth of the melanoma which is an aggressive form of cancer that can spread quickly and attacks the brain and lungs quicker than most cancers.
Testing the compound on living melanoma cells has proven the ability of the drug. Further testing, including human trials, will be sought after later this year.