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Genes Linked to Melanoma Patients' Survival

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Genes that may predict survival and help determine treatment options for patients with advanced melanoma have been identified by U.S. researchers.

A team at New York University's Langone Medical Center studied 38 patients whose melanomas had recurred after being surgically removed and pinpointed 266 associated with shorter or longer survival, United Press International reported.

"We found that patients who survived longer had gene activity consistent with an immune response," said study senior author Dr. Nina Bhardwaj. "Patients who didn't survive as long didn't have an up-regulation of those genes, but tended to have higher levels of genes associated with cell proliferation, suggesting that if your cells are growing more actively, the tumor is going to grow faster."

Bhardwaj noted that if doctors knew more about "what was happening in those patients, within the tumor itself, perhaps we'd be able to help them in terms of what therapy they might go on," UPI reported.

The study was published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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