The Color of Cancer.
A genetic test has been developed that helps detect the skin cancer malignant melanoma before the cancer can spread to other areas of the body. The test, presented at the March 2000 meeting of the International Society of Dermatopathology, was developed by staining normal and cancerous skin cells with fluorescent dye to identify a common set of chromosomal abnormalities to which pathologists can refer.
The test allows dermatologists to make more certain diagnoses and, by showing where cancer cells stop and healthy cell growth begins, will help them remove only the cells that are cancerous. A simplified version of the test is expected to be available to pathology laboratories within a year.