OCT 15, 2020 2:48 PM PDT

How is mole growth really associated to skin cancer?

New research published in the journal eLife questions the way we think about skin cancer. Focused on mole growth, the study suggests that moles stop growing because of normal cellular reactions, despite having or not having cancer-associated gene mutations.

The study was conducted in mice models that looked at how the BRAF gene influences the growth of skin cancer. Recent investigations have provided evidence that BRAF gene mutations, while responsible for the formation of pigmented moles, do not frequently cause skin cancer.

In fact, says the research team, 90% of moles have these cancer-linked mutations but never form tumors. "Exploring why moles stop growing might lead us to a better understanding of what goes wrong in skin cancer," says lead author Roland Ruiz-Vega, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Irvine, US.

In conducting their study, the team analyzed oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) using single-cell RNA sequencing. They compared mole cells with normal skin cells, ultimately showing that they found that moles are in fact not more senescent than normal skin cells, they just stop growing.

The cells also did not show any apparent differences in gene expression that would suggest OIS influences, nor did computer modelling of mole growth did not support the idea of OIS. On the contrary, the models showed that mole cells, like many other tissues, actually communicate with each other when moles reach a certain size and stop growing.

Photo:Trusted Mole Check Clinic in Australia.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

The researchers hope their findings help to develop new ways to prevent skin cancer growth.

"Our results suggest that moles stop growing as a result of normal cell-to-cell communication, not as a response to stress from cancer genes, potentially changing the way we think about skin cancer," explains senior author Arthur Lander, Director of the Center for Complex Biological Systems, and Donald Bren Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology, at the University of California, Irvine. "This work paves the way for further research into the mechanisms that control skin cell growth, with the aim of better understanding what goes wrong to cause skin cancer and ultimately developing new treatments to help prevent the disease."

Sources: eLife, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
Do Tasmanian Devils Hold the Key to Tumor Inhibition?
AUG 07, 2020
Do Tasmanian Devils Hold the Key to Tumor Inhibition?
Thanks to a historic cartoon character, Tasmanian devils are commonly regarded as cantankerous and ferocious creatures. ...
AUG 12, 2020
Cancer
Comparing Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab in the Treatment of Lung Cancer
AUG 12, 2020
Comparing Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab in the Treatment of Lung Cancer
Since the 1940s, chemotherapy has been a primary treatment option for cancer. The late 20th century brought a new type o ...
SEP 06, 2020
Cancer
Focal HIFU ablation improves prostate cancer patients' quality of life
SEP 06, 2020
Focal HIFU ablation improves prostate cancer patients' quality of life
Research published in The Journal of Urology offers an alternative to invasive prostate cancer treatments like surg ...
OCT 03, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Compound Prevents Colon Cancer in Mice
OCT 03, 2020
Cannabis Compound Prevents Colon Cancer in Mice
Second only to skin cancer, colon cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the US. Now, resea ...
OCT 08, 2020
Immunology
Immuno Metabolic Complexity and Modulating Metabolites
OCT 08, 2020
Immuno Metabolic Complexity and Modulating Metabolites
Immunometabolism is a relatively new subspecialty of immunology as we’ve begun to unravel the complex metabolic re ...
OCT 16, 2020
Cancer
Chronic jet lag raises cancer risk
OCT 16, 2020
Chronic jet lag raises cancer risk
We all know how horrible it feels to have a bad night of sleep. That feeling is only intensified with jet lag because ou ...
Loading Comments...