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Protein Key to Skin Cancer Spread

                          Scientists have identified a protein that plays a key role in the spread of a deadly type of Skin Cancer. It is hoped that the discovery will lead to new treatments to block the progression of squamous cell carcinoma. The protein, Collagen VII, normally helps to hold the skin intact but it is also needed by Cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body. The researchers found that a key fragment of Collagen VII is required for Skin Cancer cells to break free from the neighbouring skin tissue and spread. They pinpointed the crucial sequence by studying skin samples from 12 children with RDEB. Analysis showed the Cancer-resistant skin cells were from children who lacked the Collagen VII protein altogether. The study also highlighted a number of important interactions between skin cells and the matrix that underlies the skin.




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