Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Signaling proteins may represent biomarkers for melanoma

For the first time, researchers studying patients with abnormal moles have identified proteins that could help predict whether such moles will progress into melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The study provides promising evidence that the proteins may represent potential biomarkers for prevention therapy. The results were announced today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The study, abstract number 5742, also looked at the effect of a common treatment for melanoma, interferon, on the levels of these biomarker proteins.

While investigating the mechanisms of action of interferon treatment on patients at high risk for melanoma recurrence who had multiple abnormal moles, investigators found that two intracellular signaling proteins called signal transducers and activators of transcription, STAT1 and STAT3, were correlated with the degree of mole abnormality when examined under a microscope. The researchers also found that interferon regulated the proteins in a manner that was dependent on its dose.

"While abnormal moles are a major risk factor for new primary melanoma development, it is difficult to know who among these patients will eventually develop the disease," said principal investigator John Kirkwood, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the Melanoma Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). "Rather than aggressively treating all of these patients, our hope with further study is to potentially test for these proteins and select those patients most likely to benefit from specific doses of interferon therapy."

In the study, researchers treated 40 patients at various levels of risk for recurrence of melanoma with interferon administered at either high or low doses. They then examined changes in the appearance of the patients’ moles under a microscope and used molecular markers to determine the expression levels of STAT1, a protein associated with anti-tumor effects, and STAT3, a protein linked to melanoma progression. They found that the more severe the pathologic abnormality of the mole, the greater the level of STAT3 expression. Results also indicated that after high-dose interferon the level of STAT 1 increased 7.8 times and after low-dose interferon it increased 1.4 times over pretreatment levels. In contrast, STAT3 was reduced by 55 percent with high doses of interferon and by 39 percent with low doses. The ratio of STAT1 to STAT3 best represented the impact of interferon, increasing 23 times with high dose interferon and 2.6 times with low doses.

"Our study found that interferon regulates expression of STAT1 and STAT3 in a dose-dependent manner and provides a useful biomarker of interferon impact on these well- established precursor lesions, which have the potential to become cancerous," said Dr. Kirkwood. "This suggests that these markers will be important to follow in our efforts to prevent the new development of melanoma in the skin of our patients, as well as melanoma recurrence."

According to American Cancer Society predictions, an estimated 62,190 new cases of melanoma are expected in 2006 and 7,910 deaths are expected to occur.

Clare Collins | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht ‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>