Dr. Tamar Golan and Prof. Carmit Levy of the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine led a group of researchers from Tel Aviv University which discovered that the vital organs of the patients are attacked by cancer cells of limited growth in the epidermis to lethal metastatic cells when this transformation happens to the melanoma cells. In addition to that, they came to the conclusion that fat cells are also involved.
The awaited answer
Prof. Levy explains that scientists have been preoccupied with a major question for years, and they have finally come up with an answer. They were wondering how melanoma changes its form becoming violent and aggressive. The melanoma is very treatable being locked in the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin when it is in Stage 1 and has not entered the blood system by penetrating the dermis. If discovered early, it can be removed easily.
It is when the melanoma begins the transfer of cancer cells to the skin’s dermis layer, which is located below the epidermis, that the problems begin as the metastasis to vital organs starts. Cancer research today focuses on blocking the melanoma’s transformation, and now that the scientists know the involvement of fat cells in this, they can do something.
The study details
Several senior pathologists were part of the research such as Dr. Dov Hershkowitz and Dr. Valentina Zemer of Tel Aviv Medical Center and Dr. Hanan Vaknin of Wolfson Medical Center. It was then published in Science Signaling on 23rd of July and make the cover of the journal.
Dozens of biopsy samples were taken from melanoma patients at Tel Aviv Medical Center and Wolfson Medical Center, which were then studied by the team.