News and Events

Prevention can substantially reduce melanoma incidence, mortality, and cost

13 June 2015

Although the burden of melanoma is increasing, it is estimated that a substantial number of new melanoma cases could be prevented by following effective prevention strategies to reduce sun exposure, facilitate sun protection, prevent sunburn, and reduce indoor tanning. A comprehensive skin cancer prevention programme addressing these skin cancer risk factors can help slow the growth in melanoma incidence and reduce melanoma treatment costs.

PLEKHA5 as a biomarker and potential mediator of melanoma brain metastasis

11 June 2015

Brain metastases represent a devastating complication of melanoma, and the current understanding of the mechanisms driving metastasis to the brain is limited, according to a commentary on a recent publication. In this publication, the authors conclude “Inhibition of PLEKHA5 (which functions as a regulator of brain metastasis in melanoma) might decrease passage across the blood brain barrier and decrease proliferation and survival of melanoma cells both in the brain and in extracerebral sites”.

BRAF mutations in Asian and white patients

6 June 2015

While only a small number of studies have been conducted on Asian patients with primary melanoma, a recent meta-analysis of those studies has found that the clinicopathologic associations with BRAF mutations were similar in Asian and white patients with primary melanoma.

Melanoma highlights of ASCO 2015

3 June 2015

The website of the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago from 29 May – 2 June 2015 provides extensive access to presentation-related media releases and videos of oral presentations and education sessions (available for purchase). Selected melanoma-related sessions are available via the MelNet website.

Ipilimumab following surgery for advanced stage melanoma

31 May 2015

Advanced stage melanoma patients who had surgery and were then treated with ipilimumab experienced improved recurrence-free survival, according to results of a study published in The Lancet. While ipilimumab treated patients exhibited a higher degree of toxicity, the drug used in the trial was higher than the normal dosage used in melanoma treatment. Additional studies therefore are needed to minimize the adverse effects of ipilimumab while enhancing its therapeutic activity in advanced melanoma cases.

Viral immunotherapy shows patient benefit in Phase III trial

28 May 2015

A genetically engineered herpes virus can halt the progression of melanoma by killing cancer cells and sparking the immune system into action against tumours, a landmark clinical trial has shown. It is the first time that a Phase III trial of viral immunotherapy has definitively shown benefit for patients with cancer.

Call for end of marketing and commercial use of sunbeds

20 May 2015

The marketing and commercial use of UV-emitting tanning beds, which have no beneficial health effects and for which there is limited efficiency of control measures, should cease, according to authors of a commentary published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Indoor tanning a public health priority

20 May 2015

“Reducing rates of indoor tanning among US youth is an important public health priority”, according to authors of a study recently published as an open access letter to the editor in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Among the findings was that “frequent indoor tanning was significantly more common among indoor tanners who were current smokers, tanned to improve their mood, had used social media related to tanning salons, or indicated it would be very hard to stop indoor tanning”.

Distinct dermoscopic patterns in black skin

16 May 2015

Acquired melanocytic naevi in individuals with Fitzpatrick skin type V/VI have a distinct dermoscopic pattern from those with skin type I/II, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.