Christchurch researchers are studying a protein that could play an important role in the spread of skin cancer to other parts of the body.
Dr Martina Paumann-Page and her colleagues are studying a protein called peroxidasin. International researchers have found increased levels of peroxidasin in cancerous tumours, and high levels in invasive metastatic melanoma cells.
Dr Paumann-Page is investigating the role peroxidasin plays in skin cancer becoming 'invasive', which makes melanoma cells mobile and enables them to spread to other parts of the body. She hopes to then develop the first clinical test for measuring peroxidasin levels, which could be useful for monitoring progression of melanoma and identifying patients at high risk, signalling the need for early intervention.
The research is funded by the Freemasons Carrell-Espiner Fellowship and the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation.