Researchers still can’t find cause for deadly cancer in Huntersville

Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 10:43 PM EDT
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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s called ocular melanoma, it’s a type of eye cancer so rare experts say it only effects five of every one million people.

But there have been 20 cases of a rare eye cancer in or near the town of Huntersville. The town was given $100,000 by the state to try to figure out what’s going on.

The council got that report back Monday night, but with no answers.

Researchers say they tried just about every test they had trying to find out what’s going on but there’s still no good leads.

As many as 20 cases have surfaced with many of those being younger women.

Dr. Mike Brennan led the physician consortium looking into what some call an outbreak of this dangerous cancer.

Tests included checking the environment looking for outside causes. Geospatial analysis, genome sequencing and genetics looking to see if this might be a hereditary trait.

Doctors from all over the world including Duke, Auburn and India worked on trying to find the answers. But so far, nothing but roadblocks.

“It remains a mystery why an unusual amount of young females in a given geographic domain acquired this rather rare eye cancer.” said Brennan.

Doctors would like to see a statewide test, but at this point the money has dried up so it’s not clear what’s going to happen next.

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