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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Studies of Melanoma in Italy

A case-control study is being conducted in Italy to study the role of pigmentation and other host factors in the etiology of melanoma in a population with a wide range of pigmentary phenotypes and intense sun exposure. This is a collaborative study between the NCI, Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, and the University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy. The study includes over 350 melanoma cases and 350 healthy controls, matched by age, sex and residence. To address the genetic determinants of melanoma in the Mediterranean population through a different approach, a family study of melanoma is also currently ongoing in the same areas of Italy. To date, the study includes 76 families with two to five melanoma-affected individuals per family. Unaffected relatives from these families are also enrolled.

An additional project includes melanoma patients participating in either the Italian case/control or the Italian family study of melanoma who have agreed to donate multiple tissue biopsies from normal skin, common melanocytic nevi, dysplastic nevi and melanoma to allow the investigation of the pathways potentially involved in the transition from common nevi to melanoma.

The data from this study contribute to the MelaNostrum Consortium, a project to study genetic, environmental and clinical features of melanoma risk and progression in Mediterranean populations.

For more information, contact Maria Teresa Landi.

Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch - Research Areas