Blood Test May Reveal When Melanomas Spread | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Good news for people with melanoma—a new blood test may show when this cancer has just started to spread. The latest therapies work better when melanomas are still in the early stages and the test could let doctors treat people sooner. The researchers tested blood levels of a gene called TFP12, which normally keeps skin cells from growing out of control. However, this gene gets switched off in melanomas and, the more advanced the cancer, the higher the levels of the 'switched off' version. The researchers also found another gene, called NT5E, that is switched off when melanomas first form. But NT5E can also be switched back on, which makes melanomas spread more aggressively. These findings were reported at the 2013 UK National Cancer Research Institute's Cancer Conference in Liverpool.