Gene boosts melanoma risk

September 1, 2006

San Francisco - People with red hair, light skin or freckles are more likely to develop malignant melanoma, researchers say.

San Francisco - People with red hair, light skin or freckles are more likely to develop malignant melanoma, researchers say.

Investigators from the University of California, San Francisco, and the National Cancer Institute say a single gene - MC1R - greatly influences these traits. Those born with variations in the gene have an especially high susceptibility to a genetically distinct form of melanoma, according to a report in the July 28 issue of Science.