We all know that sunscreen is essential for preventing melanoma and other skin problems associated with sun damage. But, despite the increase in use of sunscreen there has also been an increase in patients being treated for melanoma-and researchers are making headway in the fight against this dangerous form of skin cancer.
Scientists have developed isoselenocyanates or ISC-4, a highly potent version of the Akt3 inhibiting isothiocyantes found in vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The protein Akt3 is responsible for many melanoma cases when it becomes deregulated, causing cell death. Inhibiting this process could prove helpful in preventing melanoma, which is why many are excited about research surrounding the topical application of ISC-4.
Recent studies revealed that topical application of ISC-4 reduced tumor cell expansion in laboratory-generated human skin by 80 to 90 percent and decreased tumor development in mice skin by about 80 percent. Furthermore, ISC-4 killed melanoma cells two to five times more effectively than it killed normal cells, leaving treated skin with no obvious damage to skin cells or skin structure. In addition, treated animals did not show signs of major organ-related toxicity. These results are indicative of a potentially safe topical treatment in the use of ISC-4.
At this point, surgery is still the only option for removing melanoma lesions, but researchers are hoping these studies may lead to the addition of ISC-4 to sunscreens, body lotions and creams, to further prevent melanoma.
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