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MRF Comments on Recent Study About Genetic Risk for Melanoma

Contact:         Deborah J. Danuser          


                        Jones Public Affairs

                        (202) 742-5256

                        [email protected]

MRF Comments on Recent Study About Genetic Risk for Melanoma

A statement from the Melanoma Research Foundation


HILLSBOROUGH, N.J.—The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) released the following statement regarding the new major risk factor for melanoma that NYU Langone Medical Center researchers may have found. 

Released online last week, a study from the Clinical Cancer Research found a new risk factor for melanoma in younger women.  While the research is ongoing, the Melanoma Research Foundation is hopeful its findings can help unlock the mysteries of this deadly disease and may help identify women at risk of developing melanoma at a young age. 

The study showed that a certain genetic variant of the MDM2 gene appeared in more than 40 percent of women diagnosed with melanoma under the age of 50.  Specifically, women with this genotype are nearly four times more likely to develop melanoma before the age of 50 than women with the other genotypes.

 When melanoma is diagnosed early it is highly treatable, but people with late-stage melanoma have an average life expectancy of less than a year.  If a person knows they are elevated risk, they take steps to help insure that if they do have melanoma it is caught at the very earliest stages.


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 About Melanoma

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is one of the fastest growing cancers in the U.S., and can strike people of all ages, all races and both sexes. In fact, with a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, more than 62,000 Americans were expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2008, resulting in an estimated 8,400 deaths.  Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old.

 About Melanoma Research Foundation

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States.  The Foundation is committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma.  The Foundation also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, while acting as an advocate for the melanoma community to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure.  The MRF Web site is the premier source for melanoma information seekers.  More information is available at www.melanoma.org.