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Could a small molecule prevent melanoma in redheads?

If you are a redhead, you have likely spent most of the summer attempting to escape those skin cancer-causing rays that seem to victimize you more than others. But a new study may allow redheads to enjoy the sunshine a little more, after finding a potential strategy to reduce their risk of melanoma.

Study co-author Rutao Cui, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics and a professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the journal Nature.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes. These are cells that produce a pigment called melanin, which helps to protect the deeper skin layers against the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), melanoma only accounts for around 1 percent of skin cancers in the United States, but it does account for a large number of skin cancer deaths.

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About Dr. J. Kim

Dr Kim developed (and is continuing to develop) dermatology research news as we way from dermatologists to stay on top of the latest advances in the field of dermatology.

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