NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
September 14, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 35 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Clinical TrialFeatured Clinical Trial

Study of Individuals and Families at High Risk for Melanoma

Name of the Trial
Study of Clinical, Laboratory, and Epidemiologic Characteristics of Individuals and Families at High Risk for Melanoma (NCI-02-C-0211). See the protocol summary at

Dr. Margaret Tucker Principal Investigators
Dr. Margaret Tucker and Dr. Alisa Goldstein, NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Why Is This Study Important?
Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and the seventh most common cancer in women. Each year, more than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with skin melanoma and more than 7,500 die from it. In the last 30 years, the rate of newly diagnosed melanomas has more than tripled in men and more than doubled in women in the United States.

Researchers are studying members of families in which there are multiple cases of melanoma to identify genes and precursor conditions that may increase the likelihood of developing this disease.

"Studying this population has allowed us to identify two major melanoma susceptibility genes," said Dr. Tucker. "We are now actively working with our colleagues in the International Melanoma Genetics Consortium to identify additional melanoma susceptibility genes and to look at susceptibility to the disease resulting from alterations in the genes already identified.

"We know that similar mutations in the major susceptibility genes confer different risks in varying geographic locations. Part of our task now is to evaluate the contribution of both genetic predisposition and environmental exposures to the development of melanoma," Dr. Tucker added.

Who Can Join This Study?
Researchers seek to enroll members of 100 families that may be at high risk for developing melanoma. To be eligible, the family must have at least three living blood relatives ever diagnosed with invasive melanoma. See the full list of eligibility criteria for this study at

Where Is This Study Taking Place?
The study will be conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Who to Contact
Contact the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology Branch referral nurse at 1-800-518-8474, or call the NCI Clinical Studies Support Center (CSSC) at 1-888-NCI-1937. The call is toll free and confidential.

An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at