Researchers have been able to generate human skin tissues, which have been genetically altered to express skin cancer. The researchers for the study feel that this will provide them with new insight in the oncogenic potential of genes in development of skin cancer.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer that results from the cells called melanocytes turning malignant.
The scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine have introduced genes that are associated with cancer into the human cells called melanocytes, that were later combined onto keratinocytes to form an example of human skin. These were then grafted in the laboratories into the mice. The researchers then slowly introduced genes that cause cancer like those involved in retinoblastoma or p53 tumor suppressing pathways. The mice were observed to see how the cancer had metasized.
The new studies bring a new insight to moving the study of cell transformations, from simple forms to functional human tissues. It is possible to have a ready access to such tissues and hence the new study can help people develop new ways of targeting for therapy.
The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Genetics.