Mutant gene…


Mutant gene linked to skin cancer

SCIENTISTS have identified a gene mutation found exclusively in deadly skin cancers caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

The discovery by Yale University researchers in the US, in collaboration with the Queensland Institute of Medical Research could eventually lead to new drugs to target the mutation found in about nine per cent of melanoma patients.
The finding emerged from the largest melanoma gene study to date, which involved the examination of every gene in 147 skin cancers.
Professor Nick Hayward from the QIMR’s Oncogenomics Laboratory said scientists also showed the mutation promoted malignant cell growth, spreading the cancer beyond the skin to critical organs.
Most importantly, the mutation was caused by exposure to sunlight.
“This mutation was exclusively found in melanomas on parts of the body that were exposed to sunlight,” Prof Hayward told AAP.
“The actual mutation itself has a chemical or molecular signature that indicates it was likely caused by ultraviolet light,” he said.
“This particular defect seems to be one that occurs in melanomas that have had excessive sun exposure.”

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