Melanoma Genetics Program
Appointments for the Melanoma Genetics Program may be held at one of two locations:
- Melanoma Center and Pigmented Lesion Center (50 Staniford St., Suite 200, Boston)
- Center for Cancer Risk Assessment (Yawkey Building, Suite 10B, 55 Fruit St., Boston)
To schedule an appointment at either location, please call 617-724-1971.
Explore the Melanoma Genetics Program
The Melanoma Genetics Program helps to identify and provide comprehensive, coordinated medical care for families that have a hereditary melanoma syndrome. Led by Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD, a dermatologist and researcher who also serves as director of the Pigmented Lesion Center and Skin Cancer Genetics Laboratory in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, our team also includes specialists in the areas of dermatology and genetics.
Patients with pathogenic variants in hereditary melanoma genes are managed comprehensively with our team of physicians and genetic counselors. We also provide risk assessment for patients interested in an evaluation for hereditary melanoma. During the initial genetics consultation, family history is carefully reviewed. If your personal or family history suggests a possible genetic risk, we will discuss the option of genetic testing.
Should You Consider Genetic Counseling?
Our program is appropriate for any individual that has a pathogenic variant in a melanoma predisposition gene. It may also be right for you if you have a personal or family history of one or more of the following:
- Individuals with multiple primary melanomas
- Three or more cases of melanoma on the same side of the family
- Melanoma and pancreatic cancer on the same side of the family
Understanding Hereditary Melanoma
The gene most commonly discussed with patients in our program is the CDKN2A gene (also known as p16), which contributes to an increased risk of melanoma and, in some families, possibly pancreatic cancer. However, this gene is found in only a portion of hereditary melanoma families.
Since the genetic cause of most hereditary melanoma cases is not well-known, our program has an active interest in research to better our understanding of hereditary melanoma. Our melanoma research registry currently includes more than 300 participants. Our team contributes to the growing body of research and publications regarding hereditary melanoma.
- Clinical Director, MGH Melanoma& Pigmented Lesion Center
- Director, MGH Melanoma Genetics Program
Patient Education and Resources
Learn about the Mind Body Program for Individuals with Hereditary Cancer Syndromes.
This clinic provides care for patients with/or at risk of developing cutaneous melanoma.