UConn Health study looks at ways to identify more aggressive forms of Melanoma

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FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Irregular, slightly scaly, uneven colored moles can suggest melanoma–the deadliest type of Skin Cancer.

But is there a way to identify the more aggressive forms? Two patients with melanomas can have entirely different outcomes.

Researchers at a UConn Health laboratory found that in advanced melanomas there is a higher level of a particular gene regulator in the genome.

“What we find is that micro-RNA’s which are newly discovered RNA’s in our genome are very important ways of telling how one of the most deadliest form of skin cancer will behave,” said Dermatologist Dr. Sam Dadras, the senior author of the recently published micro-RNA21 study.

“It will just give us an indication for perhaps to monitor the patient more vigilantly – to have more imaging, more scans and more thorough skin exams,” Dadras said.

What they’ve discovered here, Dr. Dadras says, could open the doors to new drugs, targeting these specific micro-RNA’s.

More research is needed, but already these same researchers have developed diagnostic testing on micro-RNA211, which if absent, is associated with melanoma.

Though, that’s not quite ready for patient use.

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