Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another insight into Malignant Melanoma


The first patient I ever saw as a medical student was a Dentist in the UK who had terminal, metastatic Melanoma: it wasn't a pretty sight and one that has stayed with me for nearly 40 years! Melanoma is still on the increase and is one of the more common amongst young people: there has been a staggering 50% increase amongst women under the age of 30 since 1980, so any advance in its research and treatment is to be welcome.

Apparently there is a gene called BRAF that is implicated in the spread of Malignant Melanoma, and one of the proteins associated with that gene - P-Rex1 (sounds like a pop group) - is found in higher levels in those with advanced disease. Now scientists have developed a drug that blocks this protein which so far has had beneficial results in experimental models, and has also shown significant survival benefits in human clinical trials.

This is not the end of the story by a long way, but may be the end of the beginning for our understanding where P-Rex1 protein fits into the overall picture, and how Melanoma spreads around the body. From this scientist will be able to develop more targeted treatments so that Melanoma can join all those other cancers that are now in decline, or being managed so much better.
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2 comments:

T.L.Horat said...

Thanks for the encouragement!

Mariodacatsmom said...

It's good to know there is hope for the future generations.