Israeli Scientists May Have Just Found a Cure for Melanoma

The most virulent of all skin cancers could soon be a thing of the past.


A skin doctor at work

Researchers were able to crack the metastatic mechanism of melanoma. (wavebreakmedia /

A group of Israeli and European researchers may have finally found the cure for the world's deadliest skin cancer. According to a paper published this August in the Nature Cell Biology journal, the team of scientists found out that before spreading to other organs, a melanoma tumor sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of microRNA. These vesicles then make structural changes in the skin, preparing it for the transportation of cancer cells into the dermis and subsequently the bloodstream.

“The threat of melanoma is not in the initial tumor that appears on the skin, but rather in its metastasis — in the tumor cells sent off to colonize in vital organs like the brain, lungs, liver and bones,” said research leader Dr. Carmit Levy of the department of human molecular genetics and biochemistry at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine.

Not only did the researchers discover the metastatic mechanism of melanoma, they were even able to find two chemicals that can intervene and block this process in its earliest stage, thereby depriving melanoma of its strength. “To our surprise we found changes in the morphology of the dermis — the inner layer of the skin — that had never before been reported,” said Levy. “We have discovered how the cancer spreads to distant organs and found ways to stop the process before the metastatic stage,” she added.

This discovery, as well as the vesicles themselves, could now be used as powerful indicators for early diagnosis of melanoma. In addition, both substances underwent successful testing in the lab, and may soon lead to the development of functional treatments.

“Our study is an important step on the road to a full remedy for the deadliest skin cancer,” said Levy. “We hope that our findings will help turn melanoma into a nonthreatening, easily curable disease.”

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