A new study reveals that pigment-containing components within skin cells can retain various cancer drugs, a finding that may explain how melanomas can develop drug resistance (Chen KG et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi:10.1073/pnas.0600213103 [published online ahead of print June 15, 2006]).
Melanomas are often resistant to radiation therapy and to many chemotherapeutic agents. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be approximately 62 000 new diagnoses of melanoma in the United States in 2006 and approximately 7900 individuals will die of this disease.
Hampton T. Melanoma Drug Resistance. JAMA. 2006;296(4):384. doi:10.1001/jama.296.4.384-b