Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Test For Melanoma Developed At UCSF

Date:
March 13, 2000
Source:
University Of California, San Francisco
Summary:
A genetic test to help pathologists identify melanoma, the most common type of skin cancer, has been developed by researchers at University of California, San Francisco, and may be available to pathology labs within a year.

San Francisco - A genetic test to help pathologists identify melanoma, the mostcommon type of skin cancer, has been developed by researchers at University ofCalifornia, San Francisco, and may be available to pathology labs within ayear.

The test, which detects chromosomal abnormalities that characterize cancerousskin cells, was described here, today (March 9), at the annual meeting of theInternational Society of Dermatopathology.

A skin mole that looks suspicious to a dermatologist is usually biopsied andexamined under the microscope. But even with years of experience it'ssometimes impossible to make a clear decision as to whether or not the mole iscancerous. And sadly, many melanoma cases slip through the screening process;according to some insurance carriers, these cases account for six percent ofthe money awarded each year in malpractice suits.

Because melanoma results when a cell's genetic machinery gets out of control,Philip LeBoit, MD, a professor of pathology at UCSF, and his colleagues begancomparing chromosomes of normal skin cells with those of cancerous ones. In atest called comparative genomic hybridization, they labeled DNA from normal andcancerous cells with different fluorescent dyes, then used these to identifythe changes in the cancer cell's chromosomes.

These experiments were conducted by Boris Bastian, MD, an assistant professorof dermatology, Dan Pinkel, PhD, a professor at the NCI-designated UCSFComprehensive Cancer Center, and LeBoit.

Clear patterns have emerged in the first 100 cases that LeBoit and hiscolleagues have studied: 82 percent of melanoma tumors lack portions of the DNAnormally found on one arm of chromosome 9, 63 percent are missing sections ofchromosome 10, and 50 percent of tumors have extra DNA on chromosome 7. Cancercells that are missing DNA have shut down certain genes on that chromosome and,similarly, extra DNA suggests that the melanoma has generated extra copies ofsome genes on that chromosome.

By testing suspicious looking skin cells for these abnormalities,dermatologists can be much more certain of their diagnoses, LeBoit said. "Nowwe have a common set of abnormalities for melanoma. And most tumors have two,three or four of them," he said.

Before pathology labs around the country can begin using the test, it needs tobe simplified, LeBoit said. "It now takes a more sophisticated molecularbiology lab and weeks to months of work to get an answer for a given case," hesaid. The experimental version of the test will be replaced by one that usesfluorescent markers to light up the aberrant chromosomal regions in tumorcells. "This type of fluorescent test is much easier to do technically," hesaid.

The chromosomal tests should also help when a melanoma is discovered, byshowing where the cancer stops and the normal cells begin. This will enabledermatologists to cut out only the cancerous cells and leave behind the healthyones, LeBoit said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, San Francisco. "Genetic Test For Melanoma Developed At UCSF." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000313081530.htm>.
University Of California, San Francisco. (2000, March 13). Genetic Test For Melanoma Developed At UCSF. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000313081530.htm
University Of California, San Francisco. "Genetic Test For Melanoma Developed At UCSF." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000313081530.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins