Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First evidence that obesity gene is risk factor for melanoma

Date:
March 4, 2013
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
The gene most strongly linked to obesity and over eating may also increase the risk of malignant melanoma -- the most deadly skin cancer, according to scientists.

A gene linked to obesity and over eating may also increase the risk of malignant melanoma -- the most deadly skin cancer, according to Cancer Research UK scientists at the University of Leeds

The research shows that people with particular variations in a stretch of DNA within the FTO gene, called intron 8, could be at greater risk of developing melanoma.

Variations in a different part of the FTO gene, called intron 1, are already known to be the most important genetic risk factor for obesity and overeating.

These variants are linked to Body Mass Index (BMI) -- a measure of a person's shape based on their weight and height. Having a high BMI can increase the risk of various diseases including type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, womb (endometrial) cancer and more.

But this research is the first to reveal that the gene affects a disease -- melanoma -- which isn't linked to obesity and BMI.

The results suggest that FTO has a more wide-ranging role than previously suspected, with different sections of the gene being involved in various diseases.

Study author, Dr Mark Iles, Cancer Research UK scientist at the University of Leeds, said: "This is the first time to our knowledge that this major obesity gene, already linked to multiple illnesses, has been linked to melanoma. This raises the question whether future research will reveal that the gene has a role in even more diseases?

"When scientists have tried to understand how the FTO gene behaves, so far they've only examined its role in metabolism and appetite. But it's now clear we don't know enough about what this intriguing gene does.

"This reveals a hot new lead for research into both obesity-related illnesses and skin cancer."

The researchers examined tumour samples in more than 13,000 melanoma patients and almost 60,000 unaffected people from around the world.

Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK with around 12,800 new cases and around 2,200 deaths each year.

Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK's senior science information manager, said: "These are fascinating early findings that, if confirmed in further research, could potentially provide new targets for the development of drugs to treat melanoma.

"Advances in understanding more about the molecules driving skin cancer have already enabled us to develop important new skin cancer drugs that will make a real difference for patients.

"But it doesn't detract from the importance of reducing your risk of the disease by enjoying the sun safely on winter breaks abroad and avoiding sunbeds. Getting a painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark M Iles et al. A variant in FTO shows association with melanoma risk not due to BMI. Nature Genetics, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/ng.2571

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "First evidence that obesity gene is risk factor for melanoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304105537.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2013, March 4). First evidence that obesity gene is risk factor for melanoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304105537.htm
University of Leeds. "First evidence that obesity gene is risk factor for melanoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304105537.htm (accessed October 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 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