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  • Writer's pictureSinead Mackintosh

Uveal Melanoma

Uveal melanoma is one of the rarest and most aggressive types of cancer. The cancer starts in the eye, and in 50% of patients, the cancer will spread throughout the body.

Cancerous tumours are made up of a mass of cells that are dividing uncontrollably. But the tumours also create their own “tumour microenvironment” that enhances tumour growth. This “microenvironment” is made up of proteins (called extracellular proteases) that change the environment to suit tumour development.

Researchers recently found that one of these proteases, ADAMTS1, is a crucial player in uveal melanoma development. They found this out by using CRISPR technology to inhibit the ADAMTS1 protein and verified the results using cell lines (in a petri dish in the lab) and using different mouse models.

This showed that ADAMTS1 is necessary for uveal melanoma development. Additionally, this study was the first to support the development of therapeutic targets that focus on the tumour microenvironment as a way to treat uveal melanoma.

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