Human melanocytes may give rise to deadly tumors, according to Meenhard Herlyn, Ph.D., who presentated on the topic at The World Congress on Cancers of the Skin held in August/September in Vienna, Austria.
“Melanocytes are located at the basement membrane that separates the epidermis from the dermis,” Dr. Herylyn explained. He is a professor of melanoma research at Wistar Institute in Philadelphia.
Dr. Herlyn says the turnover rate of melanocytes is slow, lasting from months to even years.
“They are also continuously exposed to DNA-damaging insults such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation,” he says. “However, melanocytes can generally repair damage quite efficiently.”