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Conquer Cancer Health News

Sun-damaged cells may hold key to fighting skin cancer
Eileen O'Connor (CNN)

Scientists have identified what they say is a protein capable of fighting skin cancer. But the protein, Fas ligand, is found in skin cells damaged by the sun, according to researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The findings, published in Science Magazine, show that some people seem to have more Fas ligand than others. Scientists say this means further study could help develop skin cancer treatments and prevention and help create a method of determining those most at risk.
"When the skin gets sunburned, you are exposed to ultraviolet irradiation from the sun; and this actually induces DNA damage in the DNA of the cells. And the cells respond to that damage by up regulating this protein called Fas ligand," said Dr. Laurie Owen-Schaub of M.D. Anderson. Fas ligand may then kill off cells that have suffered too much DNA damage and could lead to cancer.
Don't run to the sun... This doesn't mean people should go out and get a sunburn, researchers and other skin specialists caution.

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