Penn Center for Innovation

Penn Researchers Identify New Treatment Target for Melanoma

Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous pregnancy with better outcomes after a melanoma diagnosis. Now, a research team from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania says it may have determined the reason for the melanoma-protective effect. The mechanism is related to a cellular protein called the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER). When GPER was activated and combined with anti PD-1inhibitor drugs in mouse cancer models, the therapy dramatically extended survival in all animals and completely eliminated the tumor in 50 percent of the mice. Researchers published their findings in the journal eLife today.

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