Friday, June 1, 2012 1:41:00 PM America/New_York
By Stephen U
Posted on June 1, 2012
Melanotan is a peptide that was synthesized at the University of Arizona in the mid-2000’s. Scientists were able to synthesize the compound, but found it difficult to use for their given purpose. Researchers at the university were attempting to cure types of skin cancer with the compound, but found that it was a difficult task to accomplish. The scientists in Arizona realized that natural melanin tans were the body’s natural protection against the sun’s UV rays. The scientists hypothesized that if they could trigger the body’s response to produce a tan before being exposed to UV rays, then the patient could greatly reduce the risk of skin cancer. The melanotan was a by-product of this research, but scientists still found a number of uses for the compound.
Skin Cancer Research of Melanotan
The scientists had a correct hypothesis about the melanotan, but they did not expect their compound to wear off the subjects so quickly. The half life of the compound was so short that it was difficult to justify using it as a therapeutic drug. The tanning agent was too short to be practical for the purposes of synthetically creating a tan to protect from UV rays.
Nonetheless, stronger versions (the melanotan we see today) were created in order to combat this slight problem with the compound. This is the version that was offered for clinical trials at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
The studies showed that the patients who took the melanotan five times every other day had a number of side effects that were unexpected. Many of the men who took the compound were found to have penile erections spontaneously. In fact, a number of reports after the study concluded said that the melanotan compound was useful for erectile dysfunction that many men suffer from across the globe.
Scientists have not given up on this potentially lifesaving compound. Many researchers have dedicated their time to perfecting melanotan in order to reduce any side effects and to make sure that artificial tans can be produced more efficiently. A more efficient melanotan tan will allow people to get the same results without so many injections of the compound.
Nonetheless, the effect of the melanotan is exactly what many scientists wanted. The compound has been proven to create the tan, but perfecting the substance will take more years of research and development.
The Future of Skin Cancer Peptides
There are not many options to protect individuals with fare skin, but this peptide might be the one. The heavy investment into the compound will hopefully allow scientists to perfect the tanning agent and make it widely available in efficient quantities for the general public. After all, millions of people in the United States die from skin cancer, which is one of the most dangerous and potent forms. Awareness for sunscreen and protection has increased, but there is nothing that can truly stop cancer from forming yet. Hopefully the melanotan peptide will help people to protect themselves from skin cancer.
This article was written by Stephen U.