NISC-6 Shows Potential Against Skin Cancer


What is NISC-6?

Based on a recent study, a new compound found in cruciferous vegetables has been identified to act as the base for a new drug that has the potential to kill melanoma in the skin without affecting healthy cells.


Two researchers from Penn State College of Medicine designed a compound called NISC-6 which can be naturally found in vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli. They discovered that this compound destroyed melanoma cells and stopped tumor growth by 69%.

According to Dr. Arun Sharma, associate professor of pharmacology and leader of the study, the drug was formed using fragments from a previous drug design. They took a natural element found in certain vegetables that is well-known in fighting cancer — and tested how it fought melanoma.

Dr. Sharma said that while recommending eating these vegetables for prevention are good, the compounds found in these vegetables are possibly not potent enough to be used for therapy.

After some tweaks in the drug’s components to improve its effectiveness, the doctors have created a compound that they think could destroy the cancer cells without hurting the surrounding tissues – which is a big improvement on chemotherapy and radiation.

He also said that this iteration was designed to eliminate toxins from the body easily and that with this type of approach could delay or overcome resistance because it also targets BRAF wild type melanoma cells.

While NISC-6 may also work on other types of cancer, melanoma is responsible for more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths, and according to experts, preventing skin cancer is still the best strategy.

In an interview with Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, said that you should get full-body exams done by your dermatologist yearly. She also said to pay attention to new moles, open sores that won’t heal or a growth that regularly itches, scabs or bleeds. In general, always check your skin for changes and go see your dermatologist if you find one with any of these warning signs of skin cancer.

Dr. Sarnoff also shared a helpful tool that she calls the ABCDEs of melanoma detection:

Asymmetry: Draw a line down the center of your mole and if the two halves don’t match, that is a warning sign for melanoma.

Border: The borders of an early melanoma are usually uneven. The edges may be scalloped or jagged.

Color: Most benign moles are all one color. If there are different colors in the same mole, it’s a possible warning signal of melanoma.

Diameter: Although they can be smaller when first detected, melanomas tend to be larger in diameter than the eraser on your pencil (1/4 inch).

Evolution: Benign moles look the same over time. When a mole starts to evolve or change in any way, have it examined by your dermatologist.

Although a very helpful tool, Dr. Sarnoff warns that the ABCDEs are not a catch all.