Australian researchers eye breakthrough on targeting long-lasting drugs to melanoma

Australia researchers say they may have discovered a breakthrough method of targeting long-lasting drugs to melanomas. Apparently, a protein associated with natural cell death could be used to limit the growth of skin-cancer tumors.

Researchers at the University of Newcastle identified the molecule as receptor-interacting protein kinase 1, or RIP1, as among the main proteins that regulate the survival of melanoma cells. Controlling its levels in a cell could affect lower-ranking agents associated with tumor growth, according to their theory.

RIP1 appears to be unregulated at the earliest stages of melanoma, so a medicine that could inhibit its survival mechanism could kill melanoma cells, perhaps with a combination of existing drugs, said lead researcher Xu Dong Zhang.

The work was published in the journal Cancer Research.

- here's the release
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