In a breakthrough research conducted at the Virginia Commonwealth University, scientists have succeeded in halting the metastasis of cancer causing cells in skin cancer (Melanoma).
This path breaking research news was published in the latest issue of the journal Cancer Research. Researchers at the University under the leadership of lead author Dr. Paul B Fisher have been successful in inhibiting mda-9 (syntenin), a protein that promotes metastasis of melanoma.
According to the paper, Fisher and his team found that Raf kinase inhibitor protein was playing a major role in inhibiting metastasis of cancer cells. It was not until now that they found the mechanism by which this happens. They proved through experiments that this protein binds to the syntenin and prevents its expression, thus hindering the spread of the cancer cells to the other parts of the body.
The levels of this inhibitor protein were higher in healthy melanocytes and lower in those suffering from melanoma. Thus this protein could act as an instant diagnostic marker for accurate determination of the disease. Discovery of this pathway has opened new doors on diagnostics and also drug discovery. It has enabled innumerable possibilities of finding other pathways that could be used to inhibit other types of cancer and halt the progress of this deadly disease.