Scientists at the University of Iowa have found a drug which can stop melanoma from metastasising under laboratory conditions. To identify the drug they documented in real time how the skin cancer formed into tumours.
A unique computer program was used to identify and log how both breast tissue cancer cells and melanoma cells form tumors and found the two cancers act the same when at the joining stages of making the tumor. They then screened for antibodies that they had created in the lab, to see which would stop cancer spreading. Two of the antibodies that they screened cold stop both skin and breast tissue cancer cells from growing.
A past report had already shown that human breast cancer cells form tumors by extending cables between small groups of cancer cells. This report shows that skin cancer behaves in a similar way. The difference between the two types of cancer were that melanoma cells are on the go immediately and at all times; they appear to both divide into more cells and rush to join clusters simultaneously, but breast cancer cells are not.
Professor David Soll said
Melanoma cells are “fast as lightning,” Soll says. “They don’t sit still. They’ve got ants in their pants.”
“What’s so cool is the same drug that stops breast cancer cells from undergoing coalescence also stops melanoma cells from undergoing coalescence, despite these cancers’ whole history being different,” Soll says. “That means there’s a commonality despite the different origins. And that also means there might be a magic bullet (to stop tumor formation) for all cancers.”
“How melanoma tumors form: Team identifies drugs that halt skin cancer metastasis in lab tests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170403123312.htm>.
Deborah Wessels, Daniel F. Lusche, Edward Voss, Spencer Kuhl, Emma C. Buchele, Michael R. Klemme, Kanoe B. Russell, Joseph Ambrose, Benjamin A. Soll, Aaron Bossler, Mohammed Milhem, Charles Goldman, David R. Soll. Melanoma cells undergo aggressive coalescence in a 3D Matrigel model that is repressed by anti-CD44. PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (3): e0173400 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173400
Dr Cohen started her working life as a research scientist and lecturer with over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
She followed a classical scientific career until she left mainstream science in 2000 (which coincided with the birth of her first daughter) to establish the Life Science Communications company, Euroscicon Ltd.
Euroscicon Ltd was her first company (which she sold in 2016).
In 2013 Dr Cohen was diagnosed with Cancer and set up Cancer Care Parcel which provides appropriate gifts for people with cancer.
Dr Cohen is the lead scientific advisor at Optimised Healthcare. A medical profiling company which provides advanced disease prediction, prevention and wellness optimization services.
She also works with and establishes businesses and charities which benefit local, national and international communities.