Enhanced Novel Diagnostic and Prognostic Markers and Therapeutic Targets for Melanoma
Presently there are few effective systemic therapies to treat advanced stages of melanoma and the key to improved survival in all affected individuals remains early diagnosis and treatment. Scientists at JHU have identified melanoma progression and invasion-associated markers that are likely to predict disease progression, several of which can readily be detected in the circulating serum of patients. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) The incidence of melanoma is increasing at the highest rate for any form of cancer in the United States and the current lifetime risk in the US is 1 in 68. Current disease detection and monitoring consists of physical examinations in conjunction with CT-scanning, MRI scanning, or PET scanning that mostly detects gross changes at a relatively late stage of progression. Currently, no tests exist to accurately predict patient outcome for early stage disease and no blood tests readily indicate disease recurrence or progression. Thus, the biomarkers discovered in this invention could be assayed following a simple, readily-available blood or tissue test. Because the genes identified in this invention are specifically upregulated in aggressive melanomas, it is expected that many of these genes will function as effective therapeutic targets for high mortality melanomas.
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