When skin cells go rogue: The onset of melanoma


MELANOMA is a deadly type of skin cancer due to its aggressive and therapy-resistant nature. An initial melanoma tumour is well known to break away and invade other organs in the body, a process known as metastasis.

The evolution of melanoma occurs in five stages based on the Clark model (see accompanying image). The first stage begins when normal pigment-forming cells called melanocytes excessively multiply to become the commonly acquired mole. In the second stage, the mole, also known as the benign nevus, then has its DNA erroneously changed often through long, intense exposure to UV radiation from the sun.