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Feb

NIH study reveals how melanoma spreads

Insights provide possible new targets for personalized treatments

Cancerous tumors are voracious. Once they have consumed all the oxygen and nutrients in the original tumor site, the cancer cells travel to other parts of the body (metastasize) to find more nourishment.

Searching for clues about how the body signals the lack of oxygen in melanoma skin cancer, National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers focused on HIF1α (hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha), a protein that acts as a sensor for oxygen and nutrients in many types of cancer. They discovered 40 new genes that are either turned on or off by HIF1α, and 10 genes that were associated with the amount of time it took the melanoma to move from the original tumor to the rest of the body. They published their findings February 6, 2017, in Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research.

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