A test of biomarkers for DNA methylation is technically feasible and could aid in earlier, more precise diagnosis of melanoma, scientists have found.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers tested whether DNA methylation profiling could be accomplished on melanoma and mole tissues that had been preserved in fixatives for typical pathology examination after biopsy.
They found that results on tissues prepared in this way were reliable and DNA methylation distinguished malignant melanomas from non-malignant moles.
The research pinpointed sites on 22 genes that have significantly different methylation levels between melanomas and non-melanoma lesions, as well as 12 locations that are highly predictive of melanoma.
The findings appeared online last week in the journal Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research.