Australian scientists believe they can 'turn off' melanoma

Scientists at the University of Queensland believe they've developed a way to turn off one of our most common cancers.

New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates of melanoma in the world, and it's the fourth most common cancer here.

The experimental treatment uses stem cells to starve the cancer to death, 7 News reports. 

"Melanoma is extremely aggressive cancer a very rapid ability to spread so be able to block that is obviously going to have a significant outcome for patients," Researcher Dr Jatin Patel says. 

Blood vessels and tumours allow the cancer to spread by supplying oxygen and nutrients. 

Researchers have discovered stem cells which form the blood vessels and worked out how to switch the cells off. It means the cancer can't spread to other parts of the body. 

Researchers say in the future patients could use the research soon after being diagnosed to check if their cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Human clinical trials plan to start this year.


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