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Melanoma growth cut
Scientists believe they can stump melanoma growth. Picture: Cancer Council WA

Australian scientists believe they have found a way to stunt the growth of melanoma by cutting off its food supply.

The idea is to prevent the amino acid glutamine from entering the melanoma cells, say the scientists from the University of Sydney and the Centenary Institute.

Unlike normal cells, melanoma and other cancers rely on amino acids rather than glucose for the energy they need to divide and grow. The scientists discovered a pump system on the surface of cancer cells, which they aim to block with a new class of drugs, according to their article published in the International Journal of Cancer.