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  Life   Health  02 Feb 2017  Oesophageal cancer indicated by thick skin on palms

Oesophageal cancer indicated by thick skin on palms

PTI
Published : Feb 2, 2017, 6:43 pm IST
Updated : Feb 2, 2017, 6:44 pm IST

An inherited form of oesophageal cancer, called Tylosis, causes thickening of the palms and soles.

It's so severe that patients sometimes have to shave off piles of hard skin with a razor (Photo: AFP)
 It's so severe that patients sometimes have to shave off piles of hard skin with a razor (Photo: AFP)

London: Callouses, or thickened skin in palms and soles, may be a sign of oesophageal cancer, a new study has warned.

The research from Queen Mary University of London may lead to a new target in the treatment of oesophageal cancer and insights into skin conditions such as psoriasis and skin cancer.

The study also at last explains why the skin on our palms and soles is much thicker than the skin on other parts of our bodies and so uniquely adapted to withstand high pressure and physical stress.

An inherited form of oesophageal cancer, called Tylosis, causes thickening of the palms and soles that is so severe that patients sometimes have to shave off piles of hard skin with a razor, researchers said.

The gene causing the disease, iRHOM2, was found to play an important role in the thickness of the skin of the palms and soles by controlling Keratin, the most abundant component of the skin.

The researchers found that mice with iRHOM2 genes that were knocked out had abnormally thin paw skin, while humans with increased iRHOM2 had thickened palms and soles with callouses, and intriguingly these patients also develop oesophageal cancer.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Tags: health, oesophageal cancer, thick skin