A new drug could reduce the spread of melanoma by 90%

Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that a chemical compound could reduce the spread of melanoma cells by 90%, writes Thescienceexplorer.com.

The molecule of the compound made by scientists has the ability to influence a gene to produce RNA molecules and specific protein of melanoma tumors.

This genetic activity or transcription process causes the disease to spread, but the compound may block the multiplication of genes. So far, researchers already discovered some other such compounds that are able to do the same.

“It was a challenge to develop a drug with a small molecule that can block the activity of genes that function as a signaling mechanism known to be important in the progression of melanoma”, said Richard Neubig, professor of pharmacology and co-author of the study.

“The chemical compound is in fact the same one that I reviewed for its potential to treat a disease called scleroderma and which was now found can be effective in patients with this type of skin cancer”, he added.

Approximately 10,000 people die every year from melanoma.

The researchers’ findings were published in the January 2017 in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Through the research, Neubig, together with his collaborators have found that the compounds are able to stop proteins known as transcription factors related to myocardin or MRTFs, the initiation of transcription of the gene in the melanoma cells. These proteins are activated initially triggering another protein called RhoC, or Ras homology C, which is in a signaling pathway that can cause the disease to spread aggressively in the body.

The compound reduced cell migration of melanoma by 85-90%. The team also found that the drug significantly reduced the potential of tumors occurring in the lung specific mice were injected with human melanoma cells.