Cassie Rodenberg: Electron-ic Bonds

Showing skin
October 1, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Medicine

“Who is the fairest one of all?” I am. From the coast of South Carolina, a hotbed of tanning, I’m an anomaly. I stick to the shade and liberally apply 95 SPF every hour, on the hour. Why? Melanoma runs in the family.

After identifying a gene that causes melanoma earlier this summer, researchers have been straining to find better techniques for screening and catching the elusive cancer. And so they did, according to a new Australian study. Using radioactive tracers, scientists rely on fluoronicotinamides to shine a spotlight on melanoma, coupling this with former Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans that often miss the first stages of cancer development.

Though claims of integrating new and old sound reasonable, others opt for another approach entirely. Researchers at Hoag Cancer Center say that a novel cancer vaccine increased the survival rate of patients with metastatic melanoma. Unfortunately, news of HIV leaves vaccines with a rather lackluster season, despite all the press. Perhaps melanoma will be better off. For now, though, I’ll stick with the sunblock.


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