BETHESDA, Md--Research supported by the National Institutes of
Health and the National Cancer Institute has led to discovery
of a tumor-suppressor gene involved in basal cell carcinoma.
The findings were reported by an international team from the United
States, Sweden, and Australia in Cell, and by a California-based
team in Science.
The gene, known as patched (PTC), is implicated in the
nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, a rare disorder that causes
numerous birth defects and an inherited form of basal cell carcinoma.
It also appears to play a role in sporadic basal cell carcinoma,
since mutations of the gene were also found in a few patients
with noninherited basal cell tumors.