Aging gene linked to melanoma

A type of melanoma that runs in families may be caused by a fault in a gene that helps protect us from ageing.

The finding, published in Nature Genetics, has been made possible through DNA sequencing of families with a history of early-onset of this type of skin cancer.

Co-author Professor Nick Hayward, of the QMIR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, says the finding will help identify people at high risk of this type of melanoma and also open potential new targets for drug development.

About 11,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma every year in Australia with one in 50 of these cases having a strong family history of the disease.

Critically those families involved in the study did not have genetic mutations that are already known to be responsible for about 40 per cent of all familial cases of melanoma. This latest find accounts for about 3 per cent of cases.

Read the full, original story: Gene linked to family history of melanoma

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