Two new studies published in Nature Genetics have together identified five new mutations associated with melanoma risk at four different loci, The Sydney Morning Herald's Nicky Phillips reports. Together, these mutations increase one's risk of developing this skin cancer by nearly 60 percent, Phillips says, and these are the first mutations linked to melanoma that are unrelated to a person's hair, skin, or eye color. The study, led by researchers in Australia, compared the genomes of more than 2,000 Australian melanoma patients with those of more than 4,000 controls, finding two variations at the 1q21.3 locus that together confer a 30 percent increased risk of melanoma on carriers, Phillips says. The GenoMEL study found three more variants, which the researchers say confer a one in 46 chance of developing melanoma for carriers of all three, Phillips adds.
Cancer Minute's sister publicationGenomeWeb Daily News has more on these studies.