News and Events

Sun-exposed normal skin shown to carry cancer-causing mutations

9 December 2015

A recent study has found a ‘surprisingly higher burden of mutations, higher than that of many tumours, according to an editorial summary of the study. As concluded by the study authors, “aged sun-exposed skin is a patchwork of thousands of evolving clones with over a quarter of cells carrying cancer-causing mutations while maintaining the physiological functions of epidermis”.

PHARMAC releases review of pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

2 December 2015

PHARMAC has today released the outcome of its clinical committees’ review of pembrolizumab (Keytruda). Based on their review of the available evidence the committees recommended pembrolizumab be funded and gave this recommendation a low priority. PHARMAC will continue working with the supplier to work towards a funding decision for this medicine.

Views sought on extra protections from sunbeds

30 November 2015

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced today that public consultation has begun on proposals for additional protection from the use of commercial sunbeds in New Zealand. These proposals include licensing and training of operators.

Coffee consumption and melanoma

10 November 2015

There is “some evidence for the beneficial effects of regular coffee consumption on melanoma”, according to authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. However, “more prospective cohort studies with systematic quantification of coffee consumption would be necessary to further elucidate this association”.

Arm naevus count linked with melanoma risk

17 October 2015

An arm naevus count of more than 11 is associated with a significant risk of having more than 100 naevi (a strong predictor of risk for melanoma), according to a recent study based on a large population of UK health female Caucasian twins not selected for any specific diseases.

Skin cancer and indoor tanning in sexual minority men and women

14 October 2015

Sexual minority men indoor tan more frequently and report higher rates of skin cancer than heterosexual men, according to results of a cross-sectional study. According to the authors, primary and secondary prevention efforts targeted at sexual minority men might reduce risk factors for, and consequences of, skin cancer.

2012 melanoma registrations and deaths in New Zealand

14 October 2015

Published online on 6 October 2015 by the Ministry of Health, the latest release in the Cancer: New registrations and deaths series presents information about new cases of melanoma diagnosed and reported to the Cancer Registry in 2012.

Sun protection and skin exams among those exposed to high ambient UVR

13 October 2015

In this large sample from Queensland who were exposed to high levels of ambient solar radiation, sun protection and skin examination practices were most frequent among those with a history of treated skin lesions or sun-sensitive skin types, according to authors of the study.