Homing In On The Genetic Flaw That Causes Skin Cancer

Scientists have known for more than a decade that about 10% of the cases of the deadliest skin cancer, malignant melanoma, seem to be inherited. That has touched off a search for the gene causing the scourge, which strikes about 32,000 Americans--and kills about 7,800--annually. Over the past several years, they have homed in on a region of DNA, located on chromosome 9, that seems to play a key role in the cancer. In some patients with tumors, for example, chunks of DNA are missing in this section of the chromosome.

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