According to a recent study it is observed that a molecular marker is linked to prognosis in malignant melanoma. In cancer research today, there is increasing emphasis on looking for molecules specific to that cancer which might aid in monitoring the progression of the disease. Scientists at New York University now report on a molecular marker called HDM2 which appears to be important in tracking melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
They studied a group of 132 patients with various grades of melanoma for many years. Those with high levels of HDM2 had a good prognosis, while those with low levels had a poorer outcome. Levels were not correlated, however, with tumour thickness which is traditionally used for prognosis.
It's known that HDM2 is involved in one of the pathways of the tumour suppressor gene called p53, which plays a role in many other cancers. However, it is not clear why high levels are linked to a good outcome in melanoma. But its role as a molecular marker may well help doctors to target and refine therapies to the individual patient with melanoma, the researchers say.