Melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, is a cancer that develops from pigment cells called melanocytes. It is commonly occurred in the skin, also in the mucosa, eye choroid and other parts. In Asians and some other people, the primary melanoma in the skin accounts for 50% to 70%, and the acral melanoma is most common (about 50% of all melanoma), that is, occurring in foot, toes, finger end and a lower part of the site, followed by mucosal melanoma (about 20%), while in the European and white, subspecies of these two subtypes only account for 5% of all melanoma. Melanoma is the dangerous type of skin cancer, and is prone to distant metastasis. Early diagnosis and treatment are particularly important.
Melanocytes will become melanoma when malignant melanosis occurs. Currently, the only evidence for the cause of skin melanoma is the excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet rays can damage the skin cells of DNA and cause melanoma. UV rays in sunlight can burn the skin and induce DNA mutations, in which UVA and UVB can induce the occurrence of melanoma, but UVB is the main reason for the occurrence of melanocyte gene mutation. In addition, UVA can inhibit certain functions of the immune system, thereby accelerating the formation of the tumor. If the melanoma cells can be discovered before it leave the skin and enter into the lymph nodes and other parts of the body, the patient’s five-year survival rate can reach 91.5%. And if this cancer is found late, then the patient’s five-year survival rate will be only 30% to 60%.
About 40% to 60% of melanoma has a BRAF protein mutation. The treatments of advanced BRAF mutant melanoma patients are mainly classified into two categories: targeted therapy, such as chemotherapy, which can prevent cancer growth and spreading; and immune therapy, by stimulating the immune system to attack tumor cells.
May 2017 is the Melanoma Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness of melanoma and increase the chance of early detection for early treatment. Creative Diagnostics provides melanoma antibodies for use with biopharmaceutical, clinical, and life science research applications.