Eye Cancer - New Study May Yield Treatments Options For Uveal Melanomas

A recent study conducted in several centers across the world on uveal melanomas, a form of eye cancer, identified an oncogene (which is now known as GNA11) that was found to be present in over 40 percent of all tumor samples taken from participants diagnosed as having uveal melanomas.

Although melanomas primarily occur in the skin, the eye is the second most common part of the body to be affected by melanomas, and uveal melanomas are also the most common form of eye cancer in the US, with around 1500 new cases of uveal melanoma being reported every year. The results of this study are expected to be published in a forthcoming issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Boris C. Bastian, MD, PhD, who was the senior author of the study, and is also the Chair of the Department of Pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, issued the following statement about this new discovery and its significance: “These findings are significant because we now have a much better understanding of the precise mechanism of this disease, which may yield targets and treatments in the future. Currently, once this type of melanoma has spread beyond the eye, therapeutic options are extremely limited.”

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