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Other highlights in the April 5 JNCI

Gene Expression Data May Shed Light on Melanoma Development

A new study has identified 254 gene sequences whose expression in people with melanoma may be associated with developing metastasis.

The underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the clinical progression of melanoma are not well known. Alain Spatz, M.D., of the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif Cedex, France, and colleagues examined gene expression in melanomas from 58 patients who had been followed for at least 4 years. The authors identified 254 gene sequences whose expression was associated with risk of metastasis in melanomas, 174 of which are from known genes. Of the genes identified, the authors noted 33 genes whose expression was higher in patients whose melanomas did not metastasize within 4 years. They suggest that these genes could play a role in inhibiting metastasis.

The authors write, "These genes may shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying poor prognosis in melanoma patients."

Contact: Chloe Louys, 33-14211-5059, louys@igr.fr

Retinol Levels Associated with Risk Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

High blood plasma levels of retinol, the dietary form of vitamin A, were associated with a decreased risk of a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in a male Chinese population, a new study reports. Men infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) with low levels of retinol in their blood plasma were at greatest risk of HCC.

Jian-Min Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and colleagues examined the association between the risk of developing HCC and levels of vitamin A derivatives called retinoids in blood samples taken before a cancer diagnosis was made. They compared prediagnostic samples from 213 men with HCC with those from 1087 control men, all of whom were participants in the 18,244 person Shanghai Cohort Study.

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Contact: Ariel Whitworth
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
4-Apr-2006


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