Chasing the Cure for Melanoma


Melanoma lesion

Melanoma Lesion. Public domain image by Larry Meyer (2012) from the website: http://goo.gl/VbbJdn.

Did you know that Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world and that Queensland has the highest incidence of melanoma in Australia? (http://goo.gl/FKDYlA)? Worryingly, 7.2% of Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma by the age of 85 (http://goo.gl/lWnKWd). The mortality rate for melanoma is very high. Eighty to ninety-five percent of people with stage IV advanced melanoma die (http://goo.gl/zndm6V).

Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics investigates the potential of drug treatments being created through the study of interactions of sugars and the proteins that interact with those sugars on the surface of cancer cells. The word glycomics derives from the Greek prefix for sugar glyco and is about the study of carbohydrates (glycans) involved in the health and survival of any cell in the body. The website for the Institute is here.

At present, one of the projects that the Institute is focussing on is the discovery of possible drugs for the treatment of melanoma cancers called the Melanoma Research Project. The Institute is aiming to identify these carbohydrates on melanoma cancer cells and to create a drug targeting these carbohydrates. Researchers in the Institute have already identified four carbohydrate-recognising proteins that have the potential to be formed into drugs targeting melanoma cells to inhibit their growth.

The library pays for many relevant databases with information about cancer research. Some of the best are ScienceDirect, Pubmed, Medline and Web of Science. These databases can be fully accessed through the Griffith University Library website. For expert advice on using the databases, contact the Academic Services Librarians for Griffith Sciences (research students and academic staff) or the Sciences Librarians (undergraduate and postgraduates students).