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Manchester researchers tackle deadliest skin cancer

University of Manchester researchers have discovered a new way to combat the deadliest skin cancer


University of Manchester researchers have discovered a way to help overcome the world’s deadliest skin cancer, melanoma.

Lung cancer drugs were found to be effective in patients who become resistant to drugs used for skin cancer and would otherwise would not have any other treatment options.

Professor Richard Marais, the leader of the study, said: “This exciting research shows that two drugs can be better than one in beating this deadly disease.”

Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information manager, said: “This is the kind of work that the new MCRC excels at – bringing together a wide range of expertise to revolutionise cancer treatment.”

The research was developed in the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC), a partnership between Cancer Research UK, The Christie hospital and the University.

In 2008, the University was found to have the best cancer research of all UK institutions by the Research Assessment Exercise and last semester the MCRC was awarded a £12.8 million government funding boost to help progress its leading research.

Melanoma causes 75 per cent of all deaths related to skin cancer, including around 2,200 people in the UK each year.

Research recently published in the British Medical Journal found that the risk of developing the disease increases by 59% if sunbeds are used for the first time before the age of 35.

Prof Marais explained that the Manchester researchers’ findings need to be confirmed by larger studies, but he hopes “that this work accelerates progress that will ultimately increase survival from skin cancer”.