Magazine article USA TODAY

Zebrafish Help I.D. Deadly Melanoma Gene

Magazine article USA TODAY

Zebrafish Help I.D. Deadly Melanoma Gene

Article excerpt

Thanks to zebrafish, there is new hope for people with melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer that is responsible for approximately 8,700 deaths each year in the U.S. Researchers have identified SETDB1 as a new gene that promotes the growth of melanoma and may play a role in up to 70% of malignant cases. "We hope our discovery will ultimately lead to better therapeutic strategies for patients with melanoma," says study coauthor Yariv J. Houvras, assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York.

Although it accounts for less than five percent of skin cancer cases, melanoma causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 68,000 cases were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2010--39,000 in men and 29,000 in women. The incidence of melanoma continues to increase at a rate faster than that of the seven most common cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, melanoma incidence has jumped almost 50% in the last two decades. …

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