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Europe to Expand Melanoma and Genetics Consortium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Europe plans to expand a cancer research consortium to include new genetic risk studies, environmental and genetic interaction efforts, and early detection science.

The Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL), led by the University of Leeds' Cancer Research UK Centre, has already identified susceptibility genes and has developed joint data collection for gene and environment interaction studies, according to the EU.

The goal of the €10.5 million ($15.6 million) project is to create a structure of translational melanoma genetics research in Europe and in other countries. The consortium plans to add new partners in Eastern Europe, where expected future increases in income could lead to enhanced sun exposure and melanoma rates, and partners from Europe, Australia, the US, and Israel, in order to study varying levels of sun exposure based on latitude.

The GenoMEL program now plans to continue developing its shared resources and activities, and identifying new susceptibility genes and understanding their roles in tumors. The consortium also intends to emphasize studies of genotype/phenotype interactions and gene/environment interactions, and to create a widely accessible web-based content management system to study early detection, genetic counseling, diagnosis, and prevention of melanoma.

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