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NCI Cancer Center News

Study reveals new molecular target for melanoma treatment

  • Posted: August 20, 2012

A laboratory study demonstrates how a new targeted drug, Elesclomol, blocks oxidative phosphorylation, which appears to play an essential role in melanoma that has not been well understood. Elesclomol was previously shown to have clinical benefit only in patients with normal serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), a laboratory test routinely used to assess activity of disease. The research team was led by a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, who is now with UNC's division of hematology/oncology and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Other members of the research team came from the Inova Health System in Annandale, Va.; Carnegie Mellon University; and the University of Heidelberg.The research appears today in Public Library of Science ONE.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.

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