The malignancy also known as ‘Children of the Night’ disease is a genetic disorder where the body is either completely or partially unable to repair damage to its DNA from exposure to UVA/UVB radiation.
At a recent conference hosted by the Germany based fragrance manufacturer, scientists gave an in-depth look at the progress of this three year project with the Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, to essentially come up with a treatment for the incurable disease.
There, main researcher, Dr. Marc Majora revealed that he has already examined Cockayne syndrome - similar to XP (whose primary cause is often also seen in a defective DNA repair mechanism) and discovered that so-called histone deacetylase inhibitors can help prevent the symptoms of this hereditary disease.
"Some symptoms in patients cannot be fully explained by the missing DNA repair mechanism. This therefore suggests that the XP proteins also fulfil functions that go beyond the repair of damaged DNA," Majora explains.
So going forward, Majora will focus on why the DNA repair system does not properly repair UVA/UVB damage in XP patients and will attempt to transfer the model’s results to human cells from patients with Cockayne syndrome in a bid to develop alternative therapy strategies for XP.
In the meantime, Symrise is also working with the non-profit organization “Enfants de la lune – Association pour le Xeroderma pigmentosum.” The first project of which has already been planned at its Paris location where perfumers, flavorists and cosmetic formulators will hold a night workshop with the little patients.
The invited children will prepare selected cosmetic products like shower gel and skin care products and will, with the help of the perfumers, formulate their own fragrance. They will also learn how to make a flavour and add it to an ice cream preparation and taste it afterwards.
This will be an unique opportunity for the little patients to experience and enjoy the fragrances and flavors’ world and to discover the science of cosmetics.