Redheads and Risk

Study May Explain Why People With Red Hair Face A Higher Melanoma Risk.

US News & World Report (8/23, Bidwell) reports that researchers may have determined why individuals with red hair face a higher risk of melanoma.

The Huffington Post (8/22) reports that investigators “found that the same genetic mutation that gives a person red hair – a mutation on the melanocortin-1 (MC1R) gene receptor – also seems to play a role in the development of cancer.” The research, published in Molecular Cell, suggests that when an individual “with red hair is exposed to UV radiation, this gene mutation seems to promote a signaling pathway” known as PI3K/Akt.

HealthDay (8/23) reports that “this pathway...has been tied to breast, ovarian and lung tumors, according to the study,” which involved research on “mice and cell cultures.”
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