Skin Cancer Research

M. D Anderson - Asterand Skin Cancer Research
As an extension of Dr. Newman’s cancer research, NBI has completed a study on normal and skin-cancer tissue with the United States division of Asterand in Detroit, Michigan. Asterand, plc is the leading global supplier of high quality, well-characterized human tissue and human tissue-based research services to drug discovery scientists.

Molecular cancer TherapeuticsThe aim of this project was to analyze, using immunohistochemistry, the expression of the a-3 subunit of NA+/K+ ATPase in normal and diseased human skin samples. The study in summary relates that in normal skin, the alpha-3 subunit of NA+/K+ ATPase was detected in low but detectable amounts in the dermis, epidermis, sweat coils, and sebaceous glands and also expressed at an even lower level in Pyloerector muscles. Interestingly, the samples of actinic degeneration and solar keratosis showed a similar pattern of immunoreactivity to that seen in normal skin samples. Intense immunoreactivity, however, was noted in all samples of melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. From the report results provided by Asterand, it appears that an alpha-3 target exists in many skin conditions. This alpha-3 target is the subject of Dr. Newman’s research article, "Oleandrin-mediated inhibition of human tumor cell proliferation: Importance of Na,K-ATPase α subunits as drug targets" which was published as the cover article in the August 2009 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. A recent article titled "Cellular Location and Expression of Na, K-ATPase Alpha Subunits Affect the Antiproliferative Activity of Oleandrin" will soon appear in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Carcinogenesis.

This research provides a compelling reason for NBI to move forward with topical skin research and development. NBI’s plan is to proceed on to a FDA-IND Trial for skin-cancer (basal, squamous, melanoma, etc.) and antiviral trials (cold sore).