specific hereditary genetic differences may increase the risk of eye cancer – uveal melanoma, a rare form of melanoma that arises from the pigment cells that determine eye color, a new study has suggested [
previous clinical data have suggested that the uveal melanoma is more common in Caucasians and individuals with the eye color light. However, the genetic mechanisms underlying the development of this cancer were largely unknown.
In this new study published in the Reports magazine scientists, scientists reported the first evidence of a strong association between genes related to eye color and the development of uveal melanoma and suggested that inherited genetic factors with eye and skin pigmentation could increase a person’s risk for uveal melanoma.
“Our study suggests that eye melanoma difference pigmentation can play a direct role of driving cancer, unrelated to protection from sunlight,” said Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, a researcher Ohio State University.
researchers analyzed samples from more than 270 patients with uveal melanoma. Because there is clinical known connection between ocular melanoma and skin cancer, in this study the researchers tried to determine whether he had shared common genetic factors between the two diseases, since the inherited genetic risk of skin melanoma has been more widely studied in the previous literature.
The team analyzed 29 previously inherited genetic mutations linked to melanoma of the skin to determine if there was a risk associated with uveal melanoma.
This analysis revealed that five genetic mutations were significantly associated with the risk of uveal melanoma. The three most important genetic associations occurred in a genetic region that determines eye color.
Genetic susceptibility to uveal melanoma has been traditionally thought to be restricted only to small groups of patients with a family history. The study showed the presence of new genetic risk factors associated with this disease in a general population of patients with uveal melanoma.
“This is a very important discovery that will guide future research efforts to explore the interactions of these genes pigmentation with other factors of genetic and environmental risk in cancers unrelated to sun exposure, such as melanoma of the eye. This could provide a paradigm shift in the field, “said Abdel-Rahman.