HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- The cause of a cluster of cases of ocular melanoma in Huntersville remains unknown.
Soil samples and environmental testing have been inconclusive and now genome testing hasn’t revealed a link in the cases.
The cases of ocular melanoma are five in one million, but in Huntersville, there are two dozen cases, and still, no one knows why.
“No pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants were detected,” ophthalmologist Dr. Michael Brennan said. ‘It remains a mystery as to why an unusual numbers of young females in a given geographic domain got this rather rare eye cancer.”
Brennan has been a part of studies have looked into the Huntersville cancer cluster and gave an update to Huntersville commissioners that was a year in the making. They did genome testing to see if there was a link in the cases and there was not.
That’s on top of other tests that have taken place over the course of years to figure out a cause.
“That doesn’t surprise me or anyone else who think it’s something in the environment that’s causing this,” NC senator Natasha Marcus said.
Marcus has been keeping an eye on the cluster for years. All that investigation and still no answers. She was, however, alerted to a statement from dr. Brennan.
“I would classify one individual as newly reported,” Brennan said.
Another case in a cluster that has already seen too many sick and some, die.
“It’s just heartbreaking that this continues to affect people and we have no idea,’ Marcus said.
Marcus told FOX 46 that given the avenues that have been exhausted with all the testing, it may be to the point where federal involvement might be needed.
The problem is that there is a lot focused on the fight against COVID-19 right now, which could delay action on finding a cause.
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