CDK4 gene: Familial Melanoma
Most melanomas arise as a result of a combination of environmental and sporadic factors that cause mutations and are not part of a hereditary syndrome. However, about 10% of melanoma cases present with a positive family history which suggests that an inherited gene mutation, a shared environmental exposure, or both may be contributing to the risk for melanoma and other cancers. Individuals who have a strong family history of melanoma have a risk of developing melanoma that is 30-70 times higher than in the general population.
The CDK4 gene codes for a protein that plays a large role in growth of cells. However, when the gene is mutated it can lead Familial Melanoma. This condition greatly increases a person’s risk for developing melanoma. It is recommended that anyone with this mutation should have thorough skin exams every three to six months. It is also very important to take precautions and protect skin from the sun. Familial melanoma is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, meaning each first degree relative (parent, child, and sibling) of an individual with this condition has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease causing mutation.