Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Biomarker test shows promise for melanoma diagnosis

A new study shows that a test of biomarkers for DNA methylation is technically feasible and could aid in earlier, more precise diagnosis of melanoma.

In a paper that appeared online last week in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research, a team of UNC researchers tested whether DNA methylation profiling could be accomplished on melanoma and mole tissues that had been preserved in fixatives for typical pathology examination after biopsy.

They found that results on tissues prepared in this way were reliable and DNA methylation distinguished malignant melanomas from non-malignant moles.

Melanoma is one of the only forms of cancer that is still on the rise and is the most common form of cancer in young adults. The incidence of melanoma in women under age 30 has increased more than 50 percent since 1980.

"When melanoma is diagnosed early, the prognosis is good. However, once it spreads, it is very difficult to treat. Melanomas and moles can appear similar on the skin and under the microscope making diagnosis of some melanomas difficult. That's why we wanted to determine whether a test for DNA methylation is feasible as a tool for diagnosis," added Nancy Thomas, MD, PhD, professor of dermatology and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Kathleen Conway Dorsey, Ph.D, added, "We are very excited because, with this study, we have shown that this type of testing is feasible and that it has the potential to reliably distinguish between melanoma and benign skin lesions. Devising a molecular test that could aid in the early specific diagnosis of melanoma could have significant benefit for patients." Conway is assistant research professor of epidemiology at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The team's research pinpointed sites on 22 genes that have significantly different methylation levels between melanomas and non-melanoma lesions, as well as 12 locations that are highly predictive of melanoma. According to Thomas, another goal of the team is to develop a DNA-methylation test for melanoma tumor DNA that is shed into the bloodstream and that can serve as a measure for disease activity.

"If this test can be developed, it opens the door to diagnose recurrence early and initiate treatment while tumors are more likely to respond to treatment. It would also give us another way to monitor patients for response to treatment and help us better optimize treatments for each patient," Thomas noted.

Other members of the research team include Sharon Edmiston, BS, Zakaria Khondker, MStat, Pamela Groben, MD, clinical professor of pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Xin Zhou, PhD, Pei Fen Kuan, PhD, research assistant professor of biostatistics, Honglin Hao, Craig Carson, PhD, and David Ollila, MD, associate professor of surgery, all at UNC-Chapel Hill. The team also included Haitao Chu, MD, PhD, of the University of Minnesota and Marianne Berwick, PhD, MPH, of the University of New Mexico.

The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute and a UNC Lineberger Pilot Grant.

Ellen de Graffenreid | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>