Skin cancer latest: ‘Vital’ discovery could potentially ‘stop cancer in its tracks' – how?


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“Our next step will be to look at the broader impacts of blocking ARHGEF9 to explore whether it could be suitable to target it with a drug to stop the gene from helping the cancer to spread.”

There are more than 16,000 new cases of melanoma in the UK each year, and cases continue to rise, with rates doubling since the early 1990s.

When melanoma cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, it can usually be effectively treated with surgery but it becomes much more difficult to treat as it becomes more aggressive, starts to move through tissues, and spreads to other parts of the body.

Professor Clare Isacke, dean of academic and research affairs at the ICR added: “The majority of cancer deaths occur because cancer has spread from the original tumour to other parts of the body, making the disease much harder to treat effectively.

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