News and Events

Viagra and melanoma: link inconclusive

23 June 2015

A potential link between erectile dysfunction drugs and melanoma may exist, but inconsistencies in the data make a cause-and-effect relationship questionable, an analysis of a large melanoma database suggests.

De novo vs nevus-associated melanomas: differences in aggressiveness noted

18 June 2015

De novo melanomas may be more aggressive than nevus-associated melanomas, and may differ in their molecular pathogenesis, according to findings reported as a poster at the recent ASCO conference. The authors suggest that the findings may also have implications for early detection programmes.

Practical application of new technologies for melanoma diagnosis

18 June 2015

A two-part continuing medical education article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology addresses both noninvasive and molecular approaches in the practical application of new technologies for melanoma diagnosis. The series also includes CME quizzes.

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.