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TGen/Mayo Clinic/Arizona Cancer Center study finds gene associated with aggressive skin cancer
Date:9/28/2010

PHOENIX, Ariz. Sept. 28, 2010 The loss of a gene known as INPP5A could predict the onset, and track the progression, of an aggressive type of skin cancer, according to a study published today by the Arizona Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Targeting INPP5A could provide physicians with better ways to prevent and treat cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC, a skin cancer that often spreads to other parts of the body, according to a scientific paper published today in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

"Loss of INPP5A can be detected in most primary SCC tumors and even in actinic keratoses, or AK, the earliest stage in SCC development," said Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and the study's lead author. "Importantly, further reduction of INPP5A was detected as a subset of SCC tumors progressed from primary to metastatic stage."

More than 1 million non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed annually in the U.S., making these the most common type of cancer and the fifth most costly cancer type in the Medicare population, those Americans age 65 and older. The vast majority of non-melanoma skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and SCC.

"At present, our ability to assess who is at risk for SCC and our ability to treat the disease, especially in its aggressive forms, is clearly inadequate," said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director of TGen and one of the study's authors. "Without question, additional investigations into INPP5A are warranted. Studies like this are critical if we are to ever get a handle on this all-too-common type of skin cancer."

The study used TGen's advanced genomic technologies to analyze 40 skin tissue samples that ranged from normal skin to highly invasive SCC. Specifically, researchers used a technique called high-resolution array-based comparative genomic h
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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