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Study Shows Growth, Inhibition Factors of Skin Cancer

Posted: January 6, 2010

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The findings highlight an important relationship between Fyn and Srcasm—Fyn encourages growth while Srcasm inhibits it. "When this system malfunctions, it's like stepping on the gas and taking off the brakes on cell growth," explains Seykora. "Adding Srcasm back to the system lowers Fyn levels and restores order."

Analysis of human skin tumor samples confirmed that Srcasm levels are decreased and Src kinase activity is increased. The authors conclude that one potential means of combating skin cancer would be to inhibit Src kinases and/or increase Srcasm levels.

This work may have broader relevance as Src kinases are one of the longest-studied oncogenes and are activated in many types of human cancer, including colon and breast cancer. This study provides insight into how Src kinases are activated in human cancers. Further study of this model may provide insights into treating carcinomas that have increased Src kinase activity.

Future work will involve determining how Srcasm levels are decreased in skin tumors to promote cell growth. In addition, topical compounds will be tested using this model to determine if they may be useful in treating skin cancer in people.

The research was funded by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.