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A New Small-Molecule Drug Stops Melanoma from Spreading

By jeremyc | January 4, 2017

Researchers have found a chemical compound that has the ability to significantly reduce the spread of melanoma cells—as much as by 90 percent. This drug compound works by targeting RNA molecules as well as certain proteins in tumours. When the gene is unable to produce these, the disease is unable to spread.

This specific gene activity, that is, of producing RNA molecules as well as certain proteins, plays an important role in the progression of melanoma tumours. The scientists revealed that this chemical compound is the same compound which they’d been testing for treating scleroderma, a deadly autoimmune disorder.

Scleroderma involves hardening and tightening of skin tissues. Scleroderma can affect only the skin or it can also harm internal organs, the digestive tract and blood vessels. The mechanism behind skin thickening in this disease and spread of tumours in melanoma is the same.

Majority of drugs today available are small-molecule drug. The researchers believe this finding can helps us effectively deal with melanoma, which is the most fatal of all skin cancers. No fewer than 10,000 individuals die from melanoma every year.

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