‘Suffocating’ cancer: Improved melanoma immunotherapy

Hypoxia, or the inadequate oxygenation of a tissue, is a condition occurring frequently in all solid tumors such as melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma cells are not only able to survive oxygen deprivation, but also to use it to their own advantage by hijacking the anti-tumor immune response and developing resistance mechanisms to conventional anti-cancer therapies. A key gene responsible for cancer cell adaptation to hypoxia is HIF-1α (Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 alpha).

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