Gene Mutation Immortalizes Malignant Melanoma, University Duisburg-Essen Study  
1/28/2013 7:48:33 AM

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and from University Duisburg-Essen have discovered a previously unknown genetic cause of malignant melanoma: a gene mutation that leads to overactive telomerase, the so-called 'immortality enzyme'. The mutated gene region found in familial melanoma is also altered in up to 74 percent of non-inherited cases of melanoma -- here as a consequence of sun exposure. Substances inhibiting telomerase may be a novel therapeutic approach for treating malignant melanoma. The researchers have published their findings in Science.