Skip navigation
C. A Genetic Test for Melanoma

Narrator: This is Science Today. A genetic test has been developed that can help pathologists better distinguish the difference between melanoma and a mole that looks similar but is actually benign. Boris Bastian, a professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, says they discovered specific chromosomal differences between these two moles and used fluorescent dyes to identify them.

Bastian: The technique that is used is called comparative genomic hybridization, and it had been developed eight, nine years ago here at UCSF. It was actually developed to identify cancer genes or disease genes because it's a technique which allows the mapping or the detection of chromosomal aberrations over the entire genome.

Narrator: Before these lab tests become available nationwide, Bastian says they need to make it more efficient.

Bastian: But the big advantage of this technique is one doesn't need to make any assumptions where a certain abnormality is, because one can just look at all of them.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin. .