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Aurora magazine

Genetic testing for skin cancer

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and the Perlmutter Cancer Center have created a genetic test for the diagnosis of skin cancer. The DNA test analyzes the person's blood, to confirm or refute the presence of the disease. This makes it easier to early detection and intervention for time against the disease. For the moment it is only available for research, but in the future may open the clinical setting.

The new genetic test gives results in just 48 hours and is meant for early diagnosis. The anomalies of the BRAF and NRAS genes increase the risk of melanoma and are responsible for 50% of cases. Are there any DNA tests to detect the presence of mutations, which are useful for subjects with familiarity. They can, however little for those suffering from sporadic forms of melanoma. The test in question is designed precisely to these people.

The test identifies your melanoma DNA in the blood of patients. This allows you to monitor the levels of DNA fragments, or any changes in the gene that controls the TERT. The latter is the telomerase reverse transcriptase, which is a protein that helps cancer cells to maintain the physical structure of the chromosomes. Where present, the mutation helps cancer cells to multiply and hinders treatment.

The goal of researchers is to facilitate the search for effective treatments. The tests also help to understand whether current treatments are working or if the cancer is expanding. The monitoring would be faster and healthier than the traditional one and would allow for time to change therapy. Nevertheless, for the moment the research is still ongoing and will require additional trials to validate the test.