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Scientific breakthrough in lethal skin cancer research in Israel

Illustrative - Shaare Zedek Medical Center doctors performing a skin cancer treatment procedure (Photo: Shaare Zedek Medical Center)

Israeli researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Sheba Medical Center say they have reached a “breakthrough” in combating lethal skin cancer disease,

The study, funded by the Israel Cancer Research Fund, depicts how melanoma cancer cells impact their surrounding environment by creating new lymph vessels that expand through the human body.

The results of the study were published in the Nature’s Journal of Investigative Dermatology in an article titled “Primary melanoma miRNAs trafficking induce lymphangiogenesis.”

Lead researchers, Prof. Carmit Levy of Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Medicine and Prof. Shoshana Greenberger of Sheba, are optimistic that their discovery could potentially produce a potent vaccine against lethal skin cancer.

“Our main research question was how melanoma impacts the formation of lymph vessels, through which it then metastasizes,” said Greenberger. “We demonstrated for the first time that in the first stage, in the epidermis, melanoma cells secrete extracellular vesicles called melanosomes,” she added.

Levy explained that “melanoma cells secrete the melanosomes before cancer cells reach the dermis layer of the skin. These vesicles modify the dermis environment to favor cancer cells, so melanoma cells are responsible for enriching the dermis with lymph vessels and preparing the substrate for their own metastasis.”

The Jewish state is considered a leading player in global medical research and contributes disproportionately given its relatively small size. In March, Israeli researchers announced that they had discovered a treatment for lethal pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is considered one of the most lethal forms of cancer in the Western world. Statistically, less than 10% of pancreatic cancer patients survive more than a few years.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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