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A new study by Tel Aviv University reported that fat cells play a key role in the process that transforms darkened areas of the skin, called melanomas, into lethal cancer cells, offering new insights into how to prevent the disease. proteins called cytokines that can work against mechanisms that suppress tumors in normally functioning cells.
The study, published July 23, 19459019, was led by Professor Carmit Levy and Dr. Tamar Golan of TAU's Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry at the Sackler Medical School.
senior pathologists Dr. Hannan Wakkin of the Wolfsons Medical Center and Dr. Dow Hershkowitz and Dr. Valentina Zemer of the Medical Center in Tel Aviv to receive biopsy samples from dozens of melanoma patients in both medical centers.
When they noticed fat cells near tumor sites, they decided to investigate further the interaction between the two cell types.
The cytokines, the proteins released by the fat cells, work against the mechanisms of cellular repression. They reduce the expression of a gene called miRNA211, which in turn reduces the expression of the melanoma receptor for TGF beta, a protein involved in cell proliferation. At a high concentration of TGF beta, melanoma cells can become metastatic, spreading over vital internal organs such as the liver, lungs and brain, the process turns out to be reversible: when fat cells were removed from melanoma in laboratory tests, cancer cells "calmed down and stopped migrating, "Levy said. 19659016] A similar phenomenon is observed in mouse mouse models. When miRNA211 is repressed, metastatic melanoma is found in other organs – but when it was re-expressed, the gene blocks the formation of metastases.
These findings do not directly indicate that those with more body fat are at greater risk of melanoma infection, which is most common in light-skinned, red-haired men of all body types. "I do not know if the effect of fat cells on melanoma depends on the amount of fat cells," Levy said. "This is a very good question, but we have not looked at it."
She added that there is a strong link between obesity and the risk of cancer in general, but there is no convincing explanation why.
Currently, the team focuses more on the use of existing drugs that inhibit cytokines and TGF beta to prevent the development of melanomas in cancer. have been studied as possible treatments for pancreatic cancer – and are also in clinical trials for prostate, breast, ovarian and bladder cancer – they have not been used to prevent the development of metastatic melanoma. in reducing melanoma progression, and now researchers hope to develop them into a drug that people at risk of melanoma can inflict on their skin to block the development of cancer. rather than treatment, "says Levy. It suggests that these drugs, which are currently being studied as treatment for later stages of cancer, may also be important for the prevention of these cancers, based on the findings of its study.
"It's different thinking," she said. "Detects new studies of other cancers. There are many potential directions for this. "
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