Genetic Clues for Skin Cancer Therapies Great Neck NY

Scientists have isolated a group of genetic mutations involved in the growth of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Their work may lead to therapies with existing drugs that target the same mutations. Led by Yardena Samuels of the National Human Genome Research Institute, the research team from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) sequenced the protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) gene family in tumor and blood samples from people with metastatic melanoma.

Local Companies

Marvin Heldeman
(212) 567-8181
4915 Broadway
New York, NY
Michael Josef Fellner
(212) 688-5488
30 East 60th Street Suite 705
New York, NY
Elaine V Digrande
(718) 549-7286
5380 Arlington Ave.
Bronx, NY
Steven Blobstein
(718) 376-0500
1463 E 17Th St
Brooklyn, NY
Eric Fryer
(631) 673-5700
33 Walt Whitman Rd # 104
Huntington Station, NY
Mitchell Kline
(212) 517-6555
53 E 67Th St
New York, NY
Jonathan Zizmor
(212) 594-7546
1017 3Rd Ave # 2
New York, NY
Laurie Jacobson
(212) 686-7306
317 E 34Th St
New York, NY
Zoila Flashner
(516) 829-8999
277 Northern Blvd # 306
Great Neck, NY
Michael Dannenberg
(631) 421-4188
177 Main St # 105
Huntington, NY
Data Provided by:
  

Provided By:

MONDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have isolated a group of genetic mutations involved in the growth of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Their work may lead to therapies with existing drugs that target the same mutations.

Led by Yardena Samuels of the National Human Genome Research Institute, the research team from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) sequenced the protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) gene family in tumor and blood samples from people with metastatic melanoma. Their study is published in the September issue of the journal Nature Genetics.

"We have found what appears to be an Achilles' heel of a sizable share of melanomas," Samuels, an investigator in the cancer genetics branch of the institute's Division of Intramural Research, said in a NIH news release.

The PTK family includes many genes that, when mutated, promote many types of cancer, including brain, gastric and lung malignancies, according to background information provided in the news release. In the new NIH study, one PTK gene that appeared particularly suspicious was the ERBB4 gene. Scientists found ERBB4 mutations in 19 percent of patients' tumors, making it the most frequently mutated PTK gene in melanoma. Additional lab studies found that melanoma cells with the ERBB4 defect were dependent on the mutant gene for their growth.

The researchers also found that two additional PTK genes -- FLT1 and PTK2B -- were mutated in about 10 percent of the tumor samples.

The discoveries could open up new avenues for therapies. For example, the researchers discovered that melanoma cells grew much more slowly when exposed to lapatinib (Tykerb), a chemotherapy drug that inhibits ERBB4. Lapatinib is already in use by some breast cancer patients. The NIH team is planning a clinical trial using lapatinib in patients with metastatic melanoma harboring ERBB4 mutations.

"Though additional work is needed to gain a more complete understanding of these genetic mutations and their roles in cancer biology, our findings open the door to pursuing specific therapies that may prove useful for the treatment of melanoma with ERBB4 mutations," Samuels stated.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on melanoma.

SOURCE: U.S. National Institutes of Health, news release, Aug. 30, 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Read Article at HealthDay.com

Related Articles
- Getting a Botox Cosmetic Injection Great Neck NY
Aging is something that everyone is going to have to deal with. However, because of genetic factors, some people tend to age far better than others. Take, for example, various Asian cultures. Because of their climate and diet, they have become genetically predisposed to having very few wrinkles.
- Healing Facial Spider Veins Great Neck NY
- Follow Up After Skin Cancer Great Neck NY
- Risks for Childhood Cancer Survivors Great Neck NY
- Risk Factors for Squamous Cell Cancer of the Skin Great Neck NY
- Filling in Wrinkles with Dermal Fillers Great Neck NY
- Delayed Prostate Cancer Therapy Great Neck NY
- Gene Mutation in Dogs Great Neck NY
- Breast Cancer Treatment Great Neck NY
- High Levels of Selenium Decreases Incidence of Skin Cancer. Great Neck NY