Induction of Melanoma Phenotypes in Human Skin by Growth Factors and Ultraviolet B

Carola Berking, Richelle Takemoto, Kapaettu Satyamoorthy, Takahashi Shirakawa, Malihe Eskandarpour, Johan Hansson, Patricia A. VanBelle, David E. Elder, Meenhard Herlyn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    75 Citations (Scopus)


    Exposure to UV radiation likely plays a key role in melanoma development, whereas other etiologic agents remain unknown. Here we show that in normal human skin an increased expression of a combination of three growth factors, basic fibroblast growth factor, stem cell factor, and endothelin-3, along with exposure to UVB can transform normal melanocytes into a melanoma phenotype within 4 weeks. Invasion of melanoma lesions was found in skin from newborn donors, whereas melanomas in adult skin were of a noninvasive in situ type only. This suggests that susceptibility of skin to exogenous tumor promoters is dependent on age. This is the first report on human cancer initiation in vivo in which an imbalance of physiological factors combined with an environmental carcinogen can lead to transformation of normal tissue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)807-811
    Number of pages5
    JournalCancer Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 01-02-2004

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Cancer Research
    • Oncology


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