Melanomas are often resistant to standard cancer therapies such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and retinoic acid (RA). Given the lack of available treatments for melanoma, the prognosis for patients is often poor. However, Vincent Hearing and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, have now found a way to restore the sensitivity of melanomas to RA, suggesting that this noncytotoxic therapeutic approach may be a viable option for melanoma treatment. Overexpression of SOX9, a transcription factor, not only restored RA sensitivity of mouse and human melanomas, but remarkably stopped tumor growth. The authors suggest that a combined therapeutic strategy, increasing the expression of SOX9 while simultaneously treating with RA, may provide new hope to effectively treat RA-resistant cancers such as melanoma.
TITLE: Upregulation of SOX9 inhibits the growth of human and mouse melanoma and restores their sensitivity to retinoic acid
Vincent J. Hearing
National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
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