Tanning Study Suggests Strategies for Preventing Skin Cancer
Researchers have identified a drug that bypasses a genetic predisposition and induces tanning in mice prone to sunburns and skin cancer. The result is "sunless" tanning that offers mice some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.
The drug, called forskolin, supplies a signal that's weak or missing in the skin cells of fair-skinned mice. Without this signal, the cells make red or blond pigment rather than brown or black.
By rubbing forskolin cream on fair-skinned mice once a day for several weeks, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute caused the mice to produce dark pigment that was largely indistinguishable from that of brown or black mice. Read more
Guest Update by Dr. James Doroshow
Workshop Helps RAID Program Adapt, Evolve
Launched in 1998, NCI's Rapid Access to Intervention Development (RAID) program has become an important resource for investigators engaged in anticancer therapeutics development. In July 2005, a workshop was held to comprehensively review the RAID program, and determine ways to improve its effectiveness and overall operation.
The report from that workshop - which was chaired by Dr. John Mendelsohn of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and involved experts in cancer research and drug development from the country's top academic centers and industry - includes important recommendations that should greatly strengthen NCI's drug development capabilities.
As Dr. Niederhuber explained earlier this year in the NCI Cancer Bulletin, RAID provides a bridge between discovery and the introduction of an agent into phase 0 or phase I human clinical trials by offering invaluable support - including bulk drug production, formulation, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity testing, among others - to principal investigators (PIs) working on the development of small-molecule drugs and biologics. Read more