Compound shows promise in treating melanoma

Source: MedicalXpress, July 2017

While past attempts to treat melanoma failed to meet expectations, an international team of researchers are hopeful that a compound they tested on both mice and on human cells in a petri dish takes a positive step toward creating a drug that can kill melanoma cancer cells without harming nearby healthy cells.

In a series of studies led by Dr. Arun Sharma, associate professor of pharmacology and Dr. Shantu Amin, professor of pharmacology, both of Penn State College of Medicine, researchers designed and synthesized a compound called napthalamide-isoselenocyanate—NISC-6—to inhibit both the Akt1 pathway and human topoisomerase II Alpha—topo II Alpha—activity, which contribute to melanoma tumor growth. Melanoma, which is caused primarily by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, accounts for less than 5 percent of skin cancer cases, but causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.

In the study, the compound caused human melanoma cells to die and inhibited tumor growth by about 69 percent in a mouse model.

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