A genetic link between blue eyes and black cancer
Uveal melanoma is a malignant tumor that originates from melanocytic cells in the iris, ciliary body and chorioid of the eye in 4%, 6%, and 90% of patients, respectively (1). At 5.1 cases per million per year, the incidence of this tumor is low (1). However, there are marked differences worldwide (2) and the variation of incidence appears to be associated with differences of host factors related to melanocyte functioning (3). Specifically, iris color, skin color, and ability to tan are associated with risk of uveal melanoma (3). These host factors are heritable traits and the distribution of these traits is variable between different ethnicities of the human (4).