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Figuring it Out


At the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute's Beaker blog, Ana Miletic Sedy profiles researcher Ranjan Perera and his colleagues who are working toward finding the mechanism through which UV radiation triggers gene expression in skin cells to cause melanoma. While exposure to UV radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer, it's not clear how UV radiation epigenetically influences gene expression, Sedy says. "The questions Perera wants to answer are, 'Can we use epigenetic changes or methylation signatures as prognostic or diagnostic markers to differentiate early melanoma from benign growths? And can we also use these markers for disease staging of advanced tumors?'" she adds.

Perera and his team study how many microRNAs are being epigenetically regulated in melanoma. In a recent study, Sedy says, they found that levels of miR-375 and miR-34b were decreased in melanoma cell lines, and that methylation affecting miR-375 and miR-34b in later-stage melanoma was generally absent in normal skin cells and stage 1 melanoma cell lines. "This is an early indication that we have something interesting," Perera tells Sedy. "One day, we may have a whole list of signatures that we can actually compare to someone's personal genome to see any areas that we need to watch out for."

The Scan

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.

Sequencing Study Leads to Vaccine Target in Bacteria Behind Neonatal Meningitis

Researchers eBioMedicine track down potential vaccine targets with transposon sequencing on mutant bacteria causing neonatal meningitis in mouse models of the disease.

Multiple Myeloma Progression Influenced by Immune Microenvironment Expression

Researchers in NPJ Genomic Medicine compare RNA sequencing profiles of 102,207 individual cells in bone marrow samples from 18 individuals with rapid or non-progressing multiple myeloma.

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.