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Melanoma cancers develop inside a complex network of epithelial cells, vascular cells, lymphatic arteries, chemokines, and cytokines. There is evidence that melanoma develops in a series of phases, from benign proliferative lesions to melanomas with no symptoms of metastasis to more invasive lesions with the ability to metastasize. The progression of tumor metastasis occurs in a number of stages that result in the production of other tumor cells in other body areas, and is thus accountable for cancer morbidity and mortality rates (Albelda, et al).Once the tumor cells acquire the ability to penetrate to other surrounding body tissues, the overall process of invasion by the melanoma cells begins as the motile cells pass through the membranes and progress to other body tissues. Studies conducted indicate that during melanoma development, the M2 macrophage provides a conducive environment for the growth of the tumor cells and their overall spreading (Albelda, et al).
Melanoma metastasis, which is the spread of the cancerous cells to other tissues and organs is one of the primary reasons that contribute to the growth and the eventual morbidity of the patients with cancer. According to studies conducted by Albelda, et al (1990), it indicates that the integrins are important in the metastatic process. Clearly, the interaction between the tumor cells and the extracellular matrix plays a pivotal role in metastasis. Indeed, the results of the study indicated that only those melanomas that expressed the VGP characteristic had the capacity for development to the surrounding cells. Moreover, the possession of the beta 3 integrin allows the cells to move freely during the process of tumor formation, and manage to bind to the endothelial lining of the blood vessels during metastasis. There is tremendous evidence supporting the possession of this integrin is essential for tumor implantation and the growth of the melanoma cells. Further, evidence shows that the alpha v also plays a significant role in the development of the melanoma cells.
The cancer of the skin is by far the least prevalent cancers with about 1% of all cancer cases, and it accounts for a vast majority of the skin cancer deaths. Studies indicate that in the United States of America, the prevalence of melanoma among the whites is high than among the African Americans. Moreover, the risk factors of melanoma increase with age. The average age when the diagnosis of melanoma is made is the age of 63 years. However, it is also prevalent in those people younger than the age of 30 years. A nevus which is a benign but non-cancerous pigmented tumor is one of the risk factors for melanoma. In most cases, the nevus has some of the features of melanoma and can appear both in adults and children (Albelda, et al). However, though an individual might have the nevus, they might not cause any health problems to the individual. Indeed, those people who had a history of melanoma are at a higher risk of getting melanoma. Further, a weakened immune system also plays a pivotal role in the development of many forms of skin cancer.
Evidently, from the above analysis, the progression of melanoma depends on several factors such as the immunity of the person, the presence of the nevus, and the genetic make-up of the individual. Indeed, though these factors predispose the individuals to melanoma, the integrin are important in the metastatic process of the tumor cells.
Albelda, Steven M., et al. "Integrin distribution in malignant melanoma: association of the β3 subunit with tumor progression." Cancer research 50.20 (1990): 6757-6764.
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