Inter J Cancer: Cocoon! Trigger Melanoma Suicide Switch To Fight Cancer!

- Mar 05, 2020-

Scientists at the Centennial Research Institute in Sydney, Australia reported a new strategy against melanoma. Melanoma is one of the most dangerous skin cancers, killing approximately 1,700 people in Australia every year.

The researchers used drugs to inhibit two different proteins and found that they can effectively kill melanoma cells by inducing apoptosis (a process of cell self-destruction that occurs when the cell is no longer needed).

This new treatment strategy may benefit a group of melanoma patients who do not respond to targeted therapy or immunotherapy.


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The lead author of the study, Dr. Hsin-Yi Tseng, a researcher of the Centennial Institute's Melanoma Oncology and Immunology Program, said: "Because high levels of anti-apoptotic proteins or 'protective' proteins are found in melanoma cancer cells Therefore, it is extremely difficult to induce apoptosis. These protective proteins help melanoma cells survive and grow, and in some cases also help to resist advanced drug treatment. "

In this study, the researchers jointly inhibited the protein MCL1 and proteins from the bromodomain and outer terminal (BET) family. Both of these substances are believed to play a key role in protecting and supporting melanoma cancer cells in the body.

Dr. Tseng said: "Our research shows that the combined use of BET and MCL1 inhibitors is very effective in killing melanoma. The protective ability of BET and MCL1 proteins decreases under the action of drug inhibitors and causes cancer cells to self-destruct."

Dr. Jessamy Tiffen, co-corresponding author of the study, is also a member of the Centennial Institute's Melanoma Oncology and Immunology Program. She said that the team ’s research is significant and provides a potential new treatment strategy for melanoma patients.

"Up to half of melanoma patients do not respond to immunotherapy, and most patients tend to develop acquired resistance to targeted therapy. Our study tested a large number of human melanoma cell lines and mouse models. In both cases, there was a substantial decrease in melanoma, which indicates that the study will enter the next stage of development, "Dr. Tiffen said.

The study was published in "International Journal of Cancer". Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians, and these people range in age from 15 to 39 years old. (from