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Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers
UK researchers may have uncovered a gene mutation that may trigger up to 70 percent of melanoma skin cancers.
The mutation reportedly causes cells to become cancerous after excessive exposure to the sun and, if verified, could mean better cancer treatments in the future.
The scientists, who were from Britain's Institute of Cancer Research, found the BRAF gene mutation may be the "first event in the cascade of genetic changes leading to melanoma."
"Our study shows that the genetic damage of BRAF is the first step in skin cancer development," said lead author Richard Marais. "Understanding this process will help us develop more effective treatments for the disease."
Prior to this discovery, scientists were already aware that the BRAF gene was frequently damaged in patients with melanoma. However, this is the first instance where scientists have pointed to the gene mutation as a possible cause or effect of the skin cancer.
Some people have gotten a DNA test or gone through genetic testing to see what kind of ailments or possible illnesses they could be susceptible to. Though some conditions may not have a cure, early detection of a disease can ensure treatment that may lessen certain symptoms.
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