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The red in redheads’ hair is thought to put them at increased risk of the dangerous skin cancer melanoma, even if they don’t spend a lot of time in the sun, according to a new study.
Study co-author Dr. David Fisher and his research team first uncovered the apparent link between red hair pigment and melanoma last fall. That study used genetically altered mice that had been given a mutant gene that increased their risk of contracting the skin cancer.
Now the researchers are taking the next step: asking why the body’s creation of the red hair pigment — called pheomelanin — might prompt that risk.
Their new paper, published May 9 in the journal BioEssays, speculates that pheomelanin could increase skin cancer risk by leaving skin cells more vulnerable to DNA damage.
By determining the way pheomelanin increases cancer risk, the researchers hope to figure out a way to prevent future cases of melanoma.
“We are focusing on what the possibilities are, what the directions for new research are and how that could impact treatment,” said Fisher, chief of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
The researchers had previously found that at least half of red-furred mice developed melanoma, even though none of them had been exposed to any ultraviolet (UV) radiation. By comparison, only about 10 percent of mice without red fur contracted melanoma.
“In the mouse studies, it was possible to completely remove UV and there was still a major incidence of melanoma that was attributable to the red pigment,” Fisher said.
Scientists note, however, that animal studies often fail to produce similar results in humans.
Fisher speculated on two ways the red pigment might cause skin cells to be
Read the rest of this article on Healthday: Red Hair Pigment Might Raise Melanoma Risk: Study
Dermatologists treating advanced cases of metastatic melanoma had for years struggled with a lack of options to improve the survival rate of their patients. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two groundbreaking new drugs for the treatment of these advanced melanoma cases, ipilimumab and vemurafenib. The two drugs came out within months of each other, and immediately sparked hopes for a future of effective targeted therapies (see “Targeted therapies take aim at skin cancer”). After another year of the top dermatologic and oncologic minds examining the drugs and their effects, dermatologists look forward to further improved patient outcomes and therapeutic combinations as they better develop the use of these therapies.
Targeted therapies, improved outcomes
Once melanoma progresses to stage IV, according to the American Cancer Society, patient survival rates at the five- and 10-year intervals drop significantly, from stage IIIC levels of 40 and 24 percent to levels approaching 15 to 20 and 10 to 15 percent, respectively. Ipilimumab and vemurafenib approach this advanced stage in
Read the rest of the article AAD: Researchers Continue to Explore Targeted Melanoma Therapies with new Drugs
Forget taking those regular trips to the hair salon or buying a new box of Just For Men every month.
Unwanted grey hair may soon become a thing of the past, according to a team of researchers from the Netherlands, Germany and the U.K..
In a new online research report published in The FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal, those who go gray develop ‘massive epidermal oxidative stress’ through the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle, causing their hair to bleach itself from the inside out.
The inside-out bleaching, or greying, process can be cured with a proprietary treatment described as a topical, sunlight-activated compound made into a ‘modified pseudocatalase,’ which stops the graying, according to the report.
For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide gray hair,’ said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, the editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal.
Read the rest of this article on Mail Online: A cure for grey hair? Scientists say they will soon able to REVERSE change without surgery or dyes
Non-melanoma skin cancer accounts for the largest proportion of cancer cases of any kind in the United States, and its incidence continues to rise.
As the number of cases grows, however, research is advancing knowledge of the epidemiology and treatment of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC), providing clinicians with powerful tools to help them hone their prevention and medical treatment strategies.
Understanding SCC risks
Researchers now know much more about the epidemiology of SCC in the U.S., identifying populations most prone to the disease and high-risk cases, said Abrar Qureshi, MD, MPH, vice chairman and co-director of the Center for Skin and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. This is critical knowledge. “It turns out that SCC is responsible for a large number of deaths in the U.S., almost equaling those occurring from melanoma, which is a largely unknown fact,” Dr. Qureshi said.
“Dermatologists need to know the risk factors for SCC so they can advise their patients better both in terms of their protection as well as self-exams and to come in earlier when the skin cancer initially arises,” Dr. Qureshi said. “SCC is one of those skin cancers that arises quickly, much more acutely than BCC, and earlier diagnosis would help minimize surgery and treatment.” Furthermore, early treatment reduces the risk of metastasis, he said.
Sun exposure is a known risk factor for BCC and SCC, and photosensitizing medications may boost this threat, said Craig A. Elmets, MD, professor and chair of the department of dermatology and director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Skin Diseases Research Center. For example, in an article recently accepted for publication, Robinson and colleagues reported in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (doi:10.1038/jid.2013.33) that photosensitizing medications may increase the risk of BCC and, particularly in those who reported a tendency to sunburn, of SCC.
Furthermore, immunocompromised patients, such as those with HIV or diabetes and organ transplant recipients, also are known to be at increased risk of SCC, said Gary Goldenberg, MD, assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine and medical director of the medical center’s dermatology faculty practice.
To reduce risks in patients scheduled to receive transplants, dermatologists must screen them thoroughly for warts, actinic keratoses, and early squamous lesions and treat them before
Read the rest of this article on AAD: Research advances new medical treatments for BCCs and SCCs
Typically seen as a teenager’s disease, acne also presents in children and infants, and treatments should be age appropriate, according to new recommendations from the American Acne and Rosacea Society.
Although pediatric acne reportedly affects up to 87% of teenagers, a 1994 study found acne in 78% of 365 girls, ages 9 and 10, stated Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, of Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and colleagues in Pediatrics online.
Even babies get acne with 20% of newborns affected, they added.
“It is essential to have a broad understanding of acne at different ages and to be aware of the differential diagnoses for each age group,” the authors stated in an evidence-based evaluation of more than 150 dermatology-related studies.
Physicians should treat to reduce sebum (oil), prevent microcomedones (pimples), suppressP acnes (bacteria), and reduce inflammation that causes
Read the rest of this article on Medpage Today: Tx for Pediatric Acne Gets New Guidance
With growth that has outpaced other sectors in the American economy, the salon and spa industry can be a strong lure for entrepreneurs seeking new ventures.
But licensed intradermal cosmetic technician Heather Gauf-Perrin, who in January opened Bella Body & Sol, a tanning salon and spa on Harris Avenue in Fairhaven, said it’s the connections made with clients that truly matter for those in the business.
“I love how rewarding it is,” Gauf-Perrin said. “People really appreciate what you do.”
Even as the economic recession has forced many people to cut back on nearly all but the bare essentials, the $40 billion salon and spa industry has maintained steady growth over the past decade.
Gauf-Perrin offers an array of services in her 1,100-square-foot shop, including tanning, massage, facials, permanent makeup, eyelash extensions and waxing. Bella Body & Sol also carries a variety of natural, organic cosmetic and body products.
A health-centered approach to beauty care is among the more unique aspects to
Read the rest of this article on BBJ Today: Brisk Business Aiding
While high schoolers are scheduling their tanning appointments for the prom and summer seasons, state legislators are working through a bill that would prohibit people younger than 18 from using an indoor tanning bed.
Introduced in March, the bill is intended to limit youth exposure to cancer-causing UV rays found in tanning beds. More than 30 states have already enacted similar laws, however, Pennsylvania’s tanning industry remains unregulated at this time.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, teens, accounting for 2.3 million tanning appointments per year, experience an increased risk of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, each time they use a tanning bed.
“Indoor tanning is dangerous at any age, but the practice, especially popular in the younger generation, causes one in every 20 melanoma cases,” said Ninad Pendharkar, dermatologist at Geisinger-Scenery Park. “Tanning can also lead to premature skin aging, eye damage and other forms of cancer.”
The general misconception, Pendharkar said, is that a tanning bed is safer than tanning outdoors because the bed’s rays are not as dangerous as the sun’s. However, that’s not the case, he said.
“When you’re outside, you have clothes, shade, trees and clouds to protect from direct exposure,” Pendharkar said. “But in a tanning bed, your body is absorbing pure UV rays, which are 10 to 15 times more intense than the sun’s rays.”
Basically, if a body is exposed to enough UV to trigger a tan, the body is also experiencing DNA damage, said Dr. Ricardo Carter, oncologist with Lewistown Hospital. Even after the first tanning appointment, the possibility of melanoma increases by
Read the rest of this article on Lewistown Sentinel: Laws Could Limit Minors
It starts with Clearasil, then moves on to stronger stuff: birth control pills, antibiotics, Retin-A, or the nuclear option, Accutane.
These days, there’s an arsenal of treatments for that common adolescent scourge, acne vulgaris, and the beleaguered teenager may be forgiven for thinking that it will all go away when she hits adulthood.
More and more women are battling breakouts along with their wrinkles these days, and while there is no cure for either, some promising treatments are on the horizon, from subantimicrobial treatments — low-dose antibiotics — to vitamins and light therapy.
Research by a joint team at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California at Los Angeles has found that the “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria found on people’s skin and in their intestines can determine whether they have acne or not.
But don’t expect a miracle cream just yet, said Huiying Li, one of the lead researchers in the study.
“We’ve still got years of work to do before anything appears on the market,” she said. There are, at any one time, 40 million to 50 million people suffering from acne, and it’s not clear why the number of adults are growing, said a report from the American Academy of Dermatology — perhaps just more adults seeking treatment.
Adult acne affects 45 percent of women aged 21 to 30, 26 percent of
Read the rest of this article on Post-Gazette: More Adults Battling Acne Breakouts
Evening primrose oil (EPO) and borage oil (BO) provide little benefit for the relief of atopic eczema compared with placebo, according to a new review published in the April issue of theCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Joel Bamford, MD, from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth, and colleagues identified 27 studies (19 EPO and 8 BO; 1596 adults and children overall) that evaluated the use of oral EPO or BO for treatment of eczema compared with placebo. The review authors searched the main scientific literature databases up to August 29, 2012.
A meta-analysis of 7 EPO studies showed no significant increase in symptom relief compared with placebo based on a visual analogue scale of 0 to 100 (mean difference [MD], −2.22 [95% confidence interval (CI), −10.48 to 6.04] among patients; MD, −3.26 [95% CI, −6.96 to 0.45] among physicians). Studies of BO also failed to show any significant symptom improvement; however, a meta-analysis of studies was not performed because of differences in study reporting.
Adverse effects were mild but similar for EPO and BO, were primarily gastrointestinal in nature, and ranged in frequency from 7% to 15%. One study reported that EPO may increase bleeding risk among
Read the rest of this article on Medscape: Eczema: Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil Not Helpful
Roche Holding AG (ROG) won the backing of a European advisory panel for its skin-cancer medicine Erivedge, a step forward in the Swiss drugmaker’s plan to market the non- surgical, non-radiation treatment for people with advanced forms of the most common type of skin cancer.
Roche should be given conditional approval to sell the drug as a treatment for basal cell carcinoma that has spread or can’t be treated with surgery or radiotherapy, the London-basedEuropean Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use said in a statement on its website today. The European Commission usually follows the panel’s advice.
European approval will open up a market in which patients may be easier to reach than in the U.S., said Iris Roth, who is in charge of sales and development strategies for Erivedge. That’s because they’re treated by one group of doctors, so- called dermato-oncologists, while U.S. patients get treatment from both dermatologists and surgeons, Roth said in an interview before the announcement.
“The patients are much more concentrated,” she said. “It’s really hard for us to project patient numbers. This is a disease that has been really unrecognized, very little published about it.”
A pregnancy-prevention plan will be included in the
Read the rest of this article on Bloomberg.com: Roche’s Skin-Cancer Drug Erivedge Wins EU Agency Backing