Friday January 17, 2020

Study Says that Some of the Deadly Skin Cancers may Originate in Hair Follicles

The study was conducted in genetically engineered mice, with the results confirmed in human tissue samples

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Skin Cancers
The study addresses the stem cells that mature into melanocytes, cells that make the protein pigment melanin, which protects skin by absorbing some of the sun's ultraviolet, DNA-damaging rays causing Skin Cancers. Pixabay

 Some of the most deadly Skin Cancers may start in stem cells that lend colour to hair, and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers, says a new study.

Hair follicles are complex organs that reside within skin layers. It is there that immature pigment-making cells develop cancer-causing genetic changes – and in a second step – are exposed to normal hair growth signals.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that unlike their normal counterparts, newly cancerous pigment stem cells then migrate up and out of the follicles to establish melanomas in nearby surface skin before spreading deeper.

The study was conducted in genetically engineered mice, with the results confirmed in human tissue samples.

“By confirming that oncogenic pigment cells in hair follicles are a bona fide source of melanoma, we have a better understanding of this cancer’s biology and new ideas about how to counter it,” said study author Mayumi Ito Suzuki, Associate Professor at New York University.

Skin Cancers
Some of the most deadly Skin Cancers may start in stem cells that lend colour to hair, and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers, says a new study. Pixabay

The study addresses the stem cells that mature into melanocytes, cells that make the protein pigment melanin, which protects skin by absorbing some of the sun’s ultraviolet, DNA-damaging rays.

By absorbing some wavelengths of visible light, but reflecting others, pigments “create” hair colour.

In a series of elegant steps, the research team established a new mouse model for the study of melanoma, one engineered such that the team could edit genes in follicular melanocyte stem cells only (the c-Kit-CreER mouse).

This capability enabled researchers to introduce genetic changes that made only melanoctye stem cells – and their descendants destined to form melanomas – glow no matter where they travelled.

Able to accurately track a key stem cell type for the first time, the authors confirmed that melanoma cells can arise from melanocyte stem cells, which abnormally migrate up and out of hair follicles to enter the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin.

The team then tracked the same cells as they multiplied there, and then moved deeper into the skin layer called the dermis.

Cancer
Hair follicles are complex organs that reside within skin layers. It is there that immature pigment-making cells develop Cancer-causing genetic changes – and in a second step – are exposed to normal hair growth signals. Pixabay

Once there, the cells shed the markers and pigment that went with their follicular origins, presumably in response to local signals.

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They also acquired signatures similar to nerve cells (neurons) and skin cells (mesenchymal), molecular characteristics “almost exactly like” those noted in examinations of human melanoma tissue. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How Sugar Relates to Cancer

How sugar relates to cancer

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Sugar
Here are details about all you need to know about how sugar relates to cancer. Pixabay

Its commonly heard that sugar causes cancer or makes it grow faster. In some ways, this makes sense. Every cell in your body uses blood sugar (glucose) for energy, including cancer cells. But cancer cells consume about 200 times more sugary items than normal cells. They need huge amounts of sugar to fuel their rapid growth.

Dr. Niranjan Naik, Director, Surgical Oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram gives you the details about all you need to know about how sugar relates to cancer.

However, there is no strong evidence that directly links sugary food to increased cancer risk, yet there is an indirect link. Eating sugar doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer. Consuming too many calories containing sweetners may result in weight gain.

Sugar
Consuming too many calories containing sugar may result in weight gain. Pixabay

Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for cancer and other lifestyle diseases. Obesity is considered as a risk factor for development of cancers of breast, large bowel, esophagus (food pipe), pancreas, kidney, liver, upper stomach (gastric cardia), gallbladder, ovary, uterus, thyroid, myeloma (type of blood cancer), and meningioma (which is a type of tumor of brain).

Experts, including American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute, do not think sugary food can cause cancer. They say the real culprit is obesity. Fat cells release inflammatory proteins called adipokines. They can damage DNA and eventually cause tumors. The fatter cells you have, the more of these proteins you’re likely to have. Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for at least 13 types of cancers including breast, liver and colon cancer. In fact, obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer second to that of smoking.

Some cancers may start due to high levels of insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin levels in blood depends on level of sugars in the blood. Fat cells also increase the level of female hormone, estrogen. After the menopause, this hormone made by fat cells can make cells divide faster in the breasts and uterus, thereby increasing the risk of cancer.

sugar cancer
Even though sugar does not cause cancer directly, it’s still a good idea to eat less sugar. Pixabay

Even though sugar does not cause cancer directly, it’s still a good idea to eat less sugar. Research says you should restrict for a maximum of 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. But most people consume about 22 teaspoons per day in different forms. That’s 130 pounds of sugar each year.

There’s no evidence that following a low-carb or a sugars-free diet lowers the risk of getting cancer, or boosts the chances of surviving if you are diagnosed. Following restricted diets with intake of very low amount of carbohydrate could damage health in the long term by eliminating foods that are good sources of fiber and essential vitamins. This is particularly important for cancer patients, as some treatments may result in weight loss and put the body under a lot of stress. Poor nutrition received from restrictive diets can affect the recovery, or even be life-threatening. For patients to recover, it is essential to get adequate nutrition for helping their bodies cope with treatment.

Also Read- Stroke Patients At a Risk of Suffering From Heart Attack: Study

Although avoiding sugars won’t stop cancer, one can reduce the risk of getting cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. Do regular exercise, lower the amount of added sugars in your diet and maintain a healthy body weight. (IANS)