The team lead by Cristian Bellodi along with Goran Jonsson discovered a specific protein, called DDX3X, regulates the gene MITF - central to the advancement of the pigment cells in the skin. Historically other researchers found that MITF is a melanoma-specific oncogene, one that can trigger the development of tumours. DDX3X's function was known; however, the link between the two was not understood.
The University researchers have discovered the DDX3X protein does not affect the question of development of malignant melanoma, but rather the role in the aggressiveness of the growth. DDX3X has the potential to serve as a biomarker, which is a preventative step forward.
Renown Australian plastic surgeon and skin cancer specialist Dr Ian Holten says the development in research is exciting, however he advises that until the next step in this testing can take place, regular skin checks are critical to early skin diagnosis. According to the Cancer Council, an estimated 145,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020. In addition to this, 1 in 2 Australian men and women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. Melanoma is in the top 5 cancers accounting for around 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia.
It is more crucial now than ever that we inspect our bodies, and if we do find an abnormality on our skin, we should seek advice with a qualified Skin Cancer Specialist as soon as possible says Dr Holten. Skin cancer can change dramatically very quickly, so we urge people; Winter, Summer, Autumn or Spring- please don't wait!
To find out more about these topics, you can contact Australian Skin Face Body in Geelong by Clicking Here.