Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel genetic mutation that causes the most common form of eye cancer discovered

Date:
November 18, 2010
Source:
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Summary:
A new study has revealed the discovery of a novel oncogene that is associated with uveal melanoma, the most common form of eye cancer.

An international, multi-center study has revealed the discovery of a novel oncogene that is associated with uveal melanoma, the most common form of eye cancer. Researchers have isolated an oncogene called GNA11 and have found that it is present in more than 40 percent of tumor samples taken from patients with uveal melanoma.

The findings are being published early online November 17, 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine and will appear in the December 2, 2010, print issue.

"These findings are significant because we now have a much better understanding of the precise mechanism of this disease, which may yield targets and treatments in the future, said Boris C. Bastian, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and senior author of the study. "Currently, once this type of melanoma has spread beyond the eye, therapeutic options are extremely limited," added Dr. Bastian.

The eye is the second most common site in the body for melanomas, after the skin. There are about 1,500 people diagnosed with melanoma of the eye in the US each year. Most frequently, melanomas of the eye occur in the part of the eye known as the uveal tract -- the vascular layer that includes the iris (the pigmented cells surrounding the pupil), the ciliary body (the ring-shaped muscle that changes the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens when the eye focuses), and the choroid (the pigmented layer under the retina). Most patients with melanoma of the eye experience no symptoms until the tumor has become large enough to cause vision problems. In this study, DNA was extracted from tumor samples of patients and genetic sequencing was performed. To validate this new oncogene, immunocompromised mice were injected with cells engineered to harbor the mutated genes and monitored for the formation of tumors.

Previous studies from this group have revealed another oncogene associated with uveal melanoma, called GNAQ. Prior to the discovery of GNAQ and GNA11, genetic mutations responsible for uveal melanoma were completely unknown. Based on this latest research and recent studies, 83 percent of uveal melanomas are now known to have an active mutation in the GNAQ or GNA11 oncogenes.

In addition, said Dr. Bastian, "since the large majority of uveal melanomas harbor mutations in these two oncogenes, this suggests that the activation of the Gq/11 pathway is the main route to the development of uveal melanoma and identifies a brand new target for therapeutic intervention."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catherine D. Van Raamsdonk et al. Mutations in GNA11 in Uveal Melanoma. New England Journal of Medicine, November 17, 2010 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1000584

Cite This Page:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "Novel genetic mutation that causes the most common form of eye cancer discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117184353.htm>.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (2010, November 18). Novel genetic mutation that causes the most common form of eye cancer discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117184353.htm
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "Novel genetic mutation that causes the most common form of eye cancer discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117184353.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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