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Team Tracks Genetic Origins of Eye Cancer

. CGH is essentially an expanded version of FISH, with entire tumor cell lines, or genomes, labeled in different fluorescent colors, that provides a genome-wide comparison of amplified and deleted regions in DNA. SKY allows the researcher to track the physical rearrangement of chromosomes in a tumor cell, thereby revealing the origins of extra and deleted chromosomal material.

"This research was undertaken with the hope that identification of regions and genes of importance in this disease could lead to improvements in treatment strategies," said Nath, who directs WVU’s interdisciplinary graduate programs in genetics and developmental biology. Nath's research has focused on cytogenetics, the study of chromosomes, throughout his 40-year career.

"While gene therapy has enjoyed limited success to date, knowing the genetic make-up of a given tumor can guide the oncologist toward choosing an appropriate treatment regimen," White explained. "Ideally, this will lead to more preservative therapies, and fewer patients with uveal melanoma will have to endure the loss of their eye."

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