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Skin Inflammation Appears to Support Skin Cancer

In a new study, researchers found that skin inflammation appears to support skin cancer.  Inflammation is the body’s way of naturally fighting disease and infection.  A body enzyme called IDO (indoleomine 2,3-dioxygenase) regulates the inflammatory process.  The researchers use the analogy that IDO acts like a firefighter to keep inflammation under control but at the same time works to protect healthy cells, along with early cancer cells.

The investigators generated this information while performing animal studies at the Lankenau Institute of Medical Research in Philadelphia.  They state that this helps to explain why chronic sun exposure and sunburn can lead to skin cancer.  The harmful rays from the sun make skin cancer cells appear.  Prolonged or chronic sun exposure causes skin inflammation in the form of sunburn.  With this theory, the IDO helps keep the skin inflammation under control while protecting the skin cancer cells and allowing them to develop.  More research is needed, but the scientists state that this could be why people with chronic sun exposure have higher rates of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. 
 

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.


General, Cosmetic & Surgical Dermatology