Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Cancer genetics

Why melanoma is worse in men


Differences in the expression of a particular gene could explain why men with skin cancer tend to have a lower survival rate than women.

The gene, PPP2R3B, is expressed from both X chromosomes in women and from the X and Y chromosomes in men. Alan Spatz at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and his colleagues studied tissue samples from people with melanoma, and found that greater expression of PPP2R3B correlated with longer survival times. In cultured cells, high levels of PPP2R3B expression slowed melanoma growth by interfering with DNA replication and slowing cell division.

Expression of the gene was higher in women than men, which could explain why women with melanoma have better clinical outcomes, the authors say.

Sci. Transl. Med. 8, 369ra177 (2016)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Why melanoma is worse in men. Nature 540, 487 (2016).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing