The melanoma mystery remains

Testing for two gene mutations commonly associated with melanoma is not a good way to determine whether a mole could turn cancerous, Queensland researchers say.

In their analysis of samples from participants in the Brisbane Naevus Morphology Study, they found 85% had a mutation on the gene known as BRAF and the remaining had a mutation on the NRAS gene.

The authors note that when either of these genes mutated it activates the signalling pathway known as MAPK, which is commonly active in melanomas.

However, given that none of the samples were melanomas,