University of East Anglia - Tadpoles offer cancer hope

February 12, 2009

The common tadpole found in many a garden pond could be the key to developing new drugs to prevent skin cancer. Scientists at the University of East Anglia have found that the movement and growth of pigment cells causes a dangerous form of skin cancer in both tadpoles and humans. They have identified a compound that, when introduced to tadpoles of the species Xenopus laevis, blocks the movement of cells that gives them their distinctive markings. If the migration of these cells can be blocked in humans, the development and spread of types of skin cancer could be prevented.

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