In what may pave the way for preventing melanoma,an Indian-origin scientist-led research team claims to have identified co-conspirator cells in the genesis of this dangerous form of skin cancer.
Arup Indra and colleagues at Oregon State University have found that changes in the bodys pigment-producing cells,where melanoma takes hold,are only part of the story other skin cells in whats called the microenvironment of cancer site also play a key role,Biology & Nature journal reports.
Indra said,These adjacent cells,which are called keratinocytes,are actually the driver for the changes and malignant transformation in the pigment-producing cells,which are called melanocytes. So there are two avenues the pigment-producing cells where the cancer develops,and the adjacent skin cells which talk to the pigment-producing cells in the form of signals. They work in coordination,theyre partners in crime.
Scientists found a protein called RXR-alpha in skin keratinocytes that appears to protect pigment cells and prevent them from progressing to invasive melanoma.