Washington: In what may pave the way forpredicting and preventing melanoma, an Indian-origin scientist-led research team claims to have identified "co-conspirator"cells in the genesis of this dangerous form of skin cancer. Arup Indra and colleagues at Oregon State Universityhave found that changes in the body`s pigment-producing cells,where melanoma takes hold, are only part of the story -- otherskin cells in what`s called the "microenvironment" of cancersite also play a key role, `Biology & Nature` journal reports. Indra said: "These adjacent cells, which are calledkeratinocytes, are actually the driver for the changes andmalignant transformation in the pigment-producing cells, whichare called melanocytes. "So there are two avenues -- the pigment-producingcells where the cancer develops, and the adjacent skin cellswhich `talk to` the pigment-producing cells in the form ofsignals. They work in coordination they`re partners in crime."
This protein in skin cells sends chemical signals tothe adjacent pigment cells, Indra said.PTI
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