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Deadly skin cancer could be halted with arthritis drug

Researchers suggest that an arthritis drug could help to combat melanoma.

December 26, 2017

Melanoma may be one of the least common skin cancers, but it is still the most deadly. New hope might be on the horizon for people with this disease, however, in the form of an existing drug used to treat arthritis.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the United Kingdom reveal how adding leflunomide — an immunosuppressive drug used for treating rheumatoid arthritis — to a current melanoma treatment halted the growth of melanoma cancer cells in mice.

The team's promising findings were recently published in the journal Oncotarget.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, which are skin cells that produce melanin — that is, the pigment that helps to protect our skin from the sun, and which gives the skin its "tan" color.

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