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Progression factors in melanoma leading to novel therapeutic targets

Final Report Summary - PROMINENT (Progression factors in melanoma leading to novel therapeutic targets)

Project PROMINENT funded by the European Research Council undertook examination into molecules that contribute to the development of melanoma, an often lethal cancer originating in skin pigment cells that are responsible for skin colour including tanning in response to sunlight. Important molecules uncovered by the research would allow the development of new drugs to treat melanoma. Research activity was divided into two broad topics: identification of molecules in melanoma cells themselves that were responsible for their abnormal behaviour; as well as examination of the role of the body’s immune system in (paradoxically) promoting melanoma. Not all of the research activity initiated during the period of funding has been concluded and therefore some research findings are not yet available to read about in publications, but in summary the research has succesfully identified druggable targets which are important for the growth of melanoma. Moreover, as has already been published by the ERC-funded team, we have shown that white blood cells (immune cells) entering melanoma tumours produce druggable molecules that both accelerate melanoma growth and reduce the impact of medicine currently used to treat melanoma.