A protein produced naturally by the body can make the difference between a mole and melanoma, according to new research (Wajapeyee N et al. Cell. 2008;132:363-374). Investigators at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester disabled genes in cancer-prone cells (that have mutations in the oncogene BRAF) to identify particular genes that block proliferation. One of the genes the researchers discovered encodes a secreted protein called IGFBP7.
Hampton T. Moles vs Melanomas. JAMA. 2008;299(13):1533. doi:10.1001/jama.299.13.1533-c