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Other highlights in the Jan. 16 issue of JNCI

DNA Repair Capability May Influence Likelihood of Developing Melanoma
A new study suggests that the bodys ability to repair DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunlight may influence the risk of melanoma in people who do not tan easily and who have many unusually large and irregularly shaped moles (called dysplastic nevi).

Dysplastic nevi and low tanning ability are known risk factors for melanoma. Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight is also associated with an increased risk of the disease. Maria Teresa Landi, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues looked at a group of patients in Italy to determine whether the cellular capacity to repair DNA damage is associated with the risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma.

By studying 132 patients with melanoma and 145 control subjects, the authors found that, independent of other risk factors, DNA repair capacity was not associated with an increased risk of melanoma. However, among patients who had low tanning ability or dysplastic nevi, those with a low DNA repair capacity had a higher risk of the disease than those with a high DNA repair capacity. These results are presented in the Jan. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Contact: NCI Press Office, (301) 496-6641

Predictive Value of HPV Testing in Managing Equivocal Pap Tests Improves with Age, Study Shows
Each year, about 50 million Pap tests are taken in the United States, 2 million of which are not entirely normal. Most Pap tests that are not clearly normal show equivocal (aytpical squamous cells of undetermined significance [ASCUS]) or mild (low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions [LSIL]) abnormalities.

Only about 5% of women with ASCUS and 10% of those with LSIL have a known precursor to cancer, called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (CIN3). Therefore, referring all women with ASCUS or LSIL for colposcopy (examination of the cervix
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Contact: Linda Wang
jncinews@oup-usa.org
301-594-2927
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
15-Jan-2002


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