For the first time researchers have identified the cells that procreate to belligerent skin cancer. This will pave the way for new cures for the potentially lethal ailment. Researchers pronounce them the master cells which are responsible for the expansion of malignant melanoma tumours. The reasons behind some forms of advanced skin cancer that are tough to remove are also explained in the study.
Thousands of people worldwide are diagnosed with melanoma every year and the ailment is caused due to exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. Eight out of ten cases of melanoma are found at the early stage. In that stage it is easy to cure the condition by removing the tumour.
The recently exposed, stem cells in advance form of skin cancer were frequently overlooked by traditional immunotherapy. Without eradicating the cells at the root of the cancer, the treatment would fail, explained Dr Alexander Boiko, who made the discovery at Stanford University.
The division of cancer stem cells lies at the root of many kinds of tumours and they can duplicate themselves and distinguish other cancer cell types. Unlike normal forms of cancer cells, the stem cells are resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy and allow cancer to return after treatment.
Cancer stem cells were discovered firstly in blood cancers, since then they have been found in tumours of breast, colon, brain and bladder. The new study has found them for the first time in malignant melanoma. A distinguishing subset of cancer cells were discovered in the samples of skin tumour by Dr. Boiko.
When these cells were transplanted into mice, Dr. Boiko found that they were much more prone to cause skin cancer than other cells taken from human tumour. He also found that the cells self-renewed and crooked into other types of cancer cells.