Bioscience

Researchers close in on new melanoma gene

May 19, 2008

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: TGen] – Genome-wide study rapidly scans DNA for clues, narrows search

It has long been known that prolonged exposure to the suns harmful UV rays can lead to Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. An unanswered question, however, is why some people are more likely to develop melanoma than others. Despite years of research and clinical development, melanoma incidences continue to rise around the world. According to the National Cancer Institute, the percentage of people in the United States who develop melanoma each year has more than doubled in the past 30 years.

Results published today from a study led by researchers from The Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona and The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), Queensland, Australia, however, may yet change these statistics. The team is close to discovering a new gene that could help explain variation in melanoma risk.

In a report appearing in an Advance Online Publication (AOP) of the journal Nature Genetics, the researchers and their colleagues identify a region on chromosome 20 (20q11.22) that influences a person