If melanoma spreads to other parts of the body, the survival rate significantly drops for these patients. So now that scientists at Tel Aviv University and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have discovered why this type of cancer spreads, many hope a cure will soon follow.
The scientists discovered that, before spreading to other organs, the tumor sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of microRNA that induce structural changes in the dermis in preparation for receiving and transporting the cancer cells.
The researchers also found chemical substances that can stop the process and are therefore promising drug candidates.
Melanoma kills one person every 52 minutes (according to data from the international Skin Cancer Foundation), and the number of diagnosed cases has been on the rise for the past 30 years. Despite a range of therapies developed over the years, there is still no full remedy for this life-threatening disease.