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According to Medical Xpress (This article and its images were originally posted on Medical Xpress November 21, 2018 at 08:16AM.)
Researchers at the University of Tokyo studied a cell membrane receptor, LRP1, and an enzyme, tPA, for their roles in metastasis of melanoma in mice. Mice without LRP1 had smaller tumors, even when excess tPA was given. OE = over expression, KD = knockdown. B16F1 = mouse melanoma skin cancer cells Credit: Salama et al, originally published by FASEB Journal. CC-BY-NC
Melanoma skin cancer tumors grow larger and are more likely to metastasize due to interactions between a pair of molecules, according to experiments in mice and human cells. The results may restore the potential for a type of cancer therapy previously abandoned in clinical trials. The results also implicate one molecule already connected to obesity and dementia as a potential cause of metastasis, or spread of cancer cells to other areas of the body.
Melanoma accounts for about 1 percent of skin cancers, but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. Few treatments exist to prevent melanoma from metastasizing.
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