Argentinian scientist Diego Ploper and a team of researchers were able to identify the causes of the progress of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. This discovery could allow develop drugs and new therapies to help fight this disease, reported the National University of Tucuman (UNT). The research could also serve to establish whether there are links between melanoma and Parkinson’s disease.
The study was conducted in the laboratory of Edward De Robertis at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), from a project developed by Ploper, who received his doctorate in chemistry at UCLA.
The team experimented with melanoma cell lines of patients at UCLA Hospital and also in frogs embryo models (Xenopus laevis), which allowed them to unravel the relationship between a protein called ‘MITF’ and proliferation of this disease. They realized that the MIFT protein stimulates the Wnt signaling pathway, which is linked to cancer. Ploper noted that several scientific studies have determined that there is also a “relationship between Parkinson’s and melanoma and patients with this type of skin cancer quadrupling their risk of developing Parkinson’s and vice versa.”
The Argentinian scientist said that the objective of this research is that “it can serve in the future as a basis to aim new therapeutic targets.”
While skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, melanoma in advanced stage may endanger the life of patients. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation International, this disease has increased over the past 30 years worldwide and it is estimated that one in five people will develop this cancer in their lifetime.
Source: Agencia ID