Special oils remove large birthmarks and prevent skin cancer

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found that several medications can be used on the skin to remove moles and prevent skin cancer.

The new treatment will help regress congenital giant nevi

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Every day, about 9,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer. There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, occurs in the cells that produce the pigment melanin that gives color to your skin. Although the exact cause of all melanomas is unknown, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, whether from sunlight or elsewhere, increases the risk of melanoma. In addition, people with multiple moles or abnormal moles develop skin cancer.

One in every 20,000 newborns is born with a congenital giant nevus, a large, pigmented mole that covers most of the face and body. Because moles can develop and cause skin cancer in the future, many parents decide to have major surgery to remove large and permanent scars from their children. Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed several pre-clinical models of this condition and have shown that they can be applied to the skin with a few oils to cause the wounds to recede. One topical drug also protects against skin cancer. Their results were published in a journal cell May 12, 2022.

“The aim of our study was to develop a number of animal models designed to reveal the main biological features of these ulcers and to test non-surgical drug treatment of the skin to reduce these nevus cells and thus eliminate the need for surgical treatment,” says the senior author. David E. Fischer, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Melanoma Program at the MGH Cancer Center and Director of the MGH Skin Biology Research Center.

The models included mice modified to express a gene called NRAS, in which humans have a mutation that causes most congenital giant nevi, as well as transplanted mice with a human congenital giant. Fischer and his colleagues used these models to study the different stages of these nevi and to better understand how they originated and evolved. Furthermore, when scientists used animals to evaluate topical applications of one or a combination of drugs that blocked the signaling pathways caused by NRAS mutations, they found that multiple treatments resulted in significant nevus regression. In addition, the nevus was completely regressive after three treatments with a drug that caused a type of inflammatory reaction after topical application to the skin. The treatment also provided complete protection against skin cancer in mice.

“We hope that these findings will provide additional insights into the direct testing of skin treatments in patients with congenital giant nevi,” Fischer said. “This work includes additional security research, further efficiency improvements and analysis of key mechanisms. The overall goals are to prevent melanoma in these patients as well as to prevent complications from these ulcers.

Reference: “Topical therapy for the prevention of regression and melanoma of congenital giant nevi” Yoon Suk Choi, Tal H. Ehrlich, Max von Franke, Inbal Rahmin, Jessica L. Flasher, Eric B. Slate, Yi Zhang, Marcello Pereira da Silva, Alva Jiang, Allison S. Dobry, Mack Su, Sharon Germana, Sebastian Lacher, Orly Freund, Ezra Feder, Jose L. Cortez, Suyeon Ryu, Tamar Babila Propp, Yedidyah Leo Samuels, Labib R. Zakka, Marjan Azin, Christin E. Bird, Norman E. Sharples, X. Shirley Liu, Clifford Meyer, William Gerald Austin Jr., Branco Bozhovich, Curtis L. Cetrulo Jr., Martin S. Mihm, Dave S. Hun, Shadmehr Demehri, Elena B. Havriluk and David E. Fisher, May 12, 2022, The cell.
DOI: 10.1016 / j.cell.2022.04.025

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation.

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