Skin Cancer Cells, As They Spread to the Brain, Use an Alzheimer’s Disease Protein to Sabotage Immune Defenses

Source: NYU Langone News, March 2022

Amyloid beta, a protein known to build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, also helps skin cancer cells thrive when they spread to the brain, a new study finds.

Published online March 9 in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the study found that in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, cancer cells that have spread to the brain depend on amyloid beta to survive there. The study authors focused on melanoma because it spreads (metastasizes) to the brain in 40 percent of patients with advanced (stage 4) disease, the highest rate among common cancer types.