20.05.2020 change 20.05.2020

Groundbreaking Research brings New Hope for Patients With Rare Melanoma

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

Scientists have shown that the increase in the amount of two proteins: PARP1 and IDO1 in cancer cells is associated with significantly worse prognosis in patients with mucosal melanoma. Limiting the activity of these proteins may improve the results of treatment for this cancer.

The lead researchers and authors of the research are Dr Piotr Donizy from the Medical University and the University Clinical Hospital in Wrocław and Professor Mai P. Hoang from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital.

"In cooperation with Professor Mai P. Hoang from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital and a group of scientists from 11 scientific centres around the world including Spain, Japan and Taiwan, we have shown that the increase in the amount of two proteins, PARP1 and IDO1, in cancer cells is associated with significantly worse prognosis in patients with mucosal melanoma,” Dr. Piotr Donizy told PAP.

This cancer is an extremely rare melanoma with bad prognosis and accounts for less than 2 percent of all human melanomas; it can be located in the mouth and nasal cavity, the end section of the large intestine and the vulva.

According to Dr. Piotr Donizy, this is the world's first analysis of the prognostic significance of the presence of PARP1 and IDO1 proteins based on clinical material collected in one of the world's largest research groups of patients with this malignant tumour.

He explains that PARP1 protein is involved in repairing DNA damage, and IDO1 is an enzyme that participates in the regulation of the immune response.

“This breakthrough study could be a turning point in the treatment of this group of patients and become a starting point for clinical testing of PARP1 and IDO1 inhibitors, i.e. double inhibition of the activity of these two proteins. They are currently being tested in vitro or already used to treat other malignant cancers,” he said. 

He emphasises that the potential inhibition of the activity of both proteins could significantly reduce the invasive potential of mucosal melanoma cells and in the future improve the treatment results and prognosis of patients with this rare cancer, for whom modern oncology still has a limited set of therapeutic options.

The results of the study have been published in the prestigious journal Cells.

PAP - Science in Poland, Roman Skiba

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