BRAF melanoma cells secrete factors that activate stromal fibroblasts

BRAF melanoma cells secrete factors that activate stromal fibroblasts

BRAF mutations are thought to be a leading contributor to skin cancer which has been increasing year on year in the UK and the condition is now the most common form of cancer within the British population. In 2011, 13,348 people in the UK were diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer (the most deadly form of the disease which is solely responsible for 80% of all skin cancer deaths).

Malignant melanoma is highly metastatic, reaching other organs by spreading through the lymph nodes. Previous studies have identified that the BRAF V600E gene is found to be mutated and results in constitutive activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.

In new research published in 2014’s edition of the British Journal of Cancer(2), genetically engineered melanoma cell lines and xenograft mouse models were used to investigate how BRAF V600E affected cytokine (IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8) and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression in tumour cells and in human dermal fibroblasts.

Results suggested that BRAF V600E melanoma cells secreted higher levels of the cytokines and MMP-1 than their wild-type counterparts. It was also found that the conditioned medium from the BRAF V600E melanoma cells activated the stromal fibroblasts, inducing expression of SDF-1 and its receptor CXCR4. This increase was mitigated when the conditioned medium was taken from melanoma cells treated with the BRAF V600E specific inhibitor, vemurafenib.

These results show that BRAF V600E plays a key role in activating the stroma and supports the theory that there is a mechanistic link between BRAF V600E and MMP-1 in mediating melanoma progression and in activating adjacent fibroblasts in the tumour microenvironment.

1. Cancer Research
2. British Journal of Cancer

If your research is focused on oncology, you may benefit from Randox’s Evidence Investigator and the KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA array. Find out more with our Oncology Research brochure or e-mail

Randox launches world’s most comprehensive third party haematology control

Randox Laboratories has launched a third party multi-analyte haematology control; the most comprehensive haematology quality control (QC) solution on the market to date. 

Recently CE marked, Randox’s Acusera Haematology control contains 45 parameters – more than any other haematology control on the market – enabling labs to completely cover the commonly tested full blood profile in a single control. It provides a true third party QC solution for Sysmex haematology analysers, with clinically relevant target values provided for instruments with 5-part differential technology guaranteeing an unbiased, independent assessment of analytical performance.

The new control is liquid ready-to-use for added convenience, with open vial stability for 14 days for all analytes when stored at +2 to +8°c. The tri-level controls have barcoded labels enabling quick and easy sample recognition and increased productivity.

Steven Jordan, Global Business Manager, Randox Quality Control said:

“This new control from Randox effectively trebles laboratory efficiency in blood testing by streamlining the quality controls process, helping laboratories to drastically cut the number of costly and time-consuming single controls they need to use to cover the full blood profile.”

Randox ‘falls’ for the lights, camera and action

County Antrim biotechnology firm Randox Laboratories, celebrated across the globe for its ground-breaking diagnostics has welcomed two famous faces, also recognised internationally…

The award winning firm, which has recently acquired the former army base at Massereene, has been putting the ‘A-list’ in Antrim,  opening up the 42 acre site to actors Jamie Dornan, Gillian Anderson and the rest of the cast and crew of BBC2’s hugely successful series ‘The Fall’.

Parts of the site were transformed into a police station, custody suite and forensics laboratory, for filming of Season 2.  David McCann of Randox who worked with the production team, said it was surreal seeing the well-known actors on the set:

“It was a fantastic experience to see stars like Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson in action on the set. The wider film crew were great to work with and very courteous to all involved. I believe Jamie liked to wind down with a kick about with the crew after filming. I’m happy he didn’t break any of the windows!”

Randox was called into kit out the forensics laboratory and even provided filming extras, Human Resources Executive, Hannah Hutchinson, was one of them:

“It was a great experience, I was asked to play the part of a lab technician – but I wasn’t nervous because everyone was really nice.  Gillian Anderson is so professional, it was terrific to watch.  I’m really looking forward to the new series – might even catch a glimpse of myself”.

Randox Laboratories owner and managing director Dr Peter FitzGerald was delighted to provide this location for the BBC Two production and hopes to work with similar projects in the future:

“Randox is an innovative, progressive company which is proud to support the growing Northern Ireland film and TV industry.  We are pleased to see big production companies coming here to film, it can only be good news for Northern Ireland.  We have had location scouts come to view our new site in Antrim and indeed our lands around the lough shore, but all I can say for now, is watch this space!”

Season 2 of ‘The Fall’, will air on BBC Two in November.

Clinical Laboratory Survey