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.

Related Articles


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 March 29, 2015 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 March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
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