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3 new faulty genes behind deadly skin cancer identified

October 10, 2011 - London

Scientists have uncovered three new genetic faults, which increase the risk of developing deadly Skin cancer by 30 per cent.

It has long been known that people with fair skin, blue or green eyes, blond or red hair, a high number of moles, who burn easily and who have a family history of the disease are all at a significantly higher risk of contracting melanoma.

Now, the scientists from the Cancer Research UK centre at the University of Leeds have discovered the first DNA faults linked to the deadliest Skin cancer, The Daily Express reported.

Previous research has already identified five pigmentation genes and three "mole formation" genes, which are all linked to melanoma risk.

But these scientists, together with experts from the GenoMEL, consortium have now discovered three new risk genes not associated with pigmentation or moles.he team found that four per cent of the UK population, or around 2.3million people, would carry two copies of all three gene faults, with one copy inherited from each parent.

The average risk of developing melanoma is one in 60, rising to one in 46 if a person has both copies of all three gene faults.

Lead author, Professor Tim Bishop, said: "It's fascinating to discover these new melanoma risk factors and we expect that the results of similar studies under way will reveal even more."

The findings have been published in the journal Nature Genetics.


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