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DNA Fragments Kill Melanoma Cells

Finding may lead to new treatments for deadly form of skin cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 2, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Certain DNA fragments can destroy melanoma cells, says a Boston University School of Medicine study.

In research with mice, the researchers found that small DNA fragments called T-oligos can cause extensive death in human melanoma cells and that surviving melanoma cells become less aggressive. This finding may help lead to new treatments for melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

The study appears in the September issue of the FASEB Journal.

"Melanoma is a dreaded disease, resistant to all treatment modalities now available once it has spread beyond the skin. Our results are encouraging and we are very hopeful this finding will provide a novel means of treating melanoma," study leader Dr. Barbara Gilchrist, a professor of dermatology, said in a prepared statement.

The same research team also found that T-oligo fragments delayed and prevented skin cancer in hairless mice exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about melanoma.

SOURCE: Boston University, news release, Sept. 1, 2004
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