News and Events

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.

Role of Tumour Mitotic Rate in Melanoma Staging

14 May 2015

A paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology “should influence future staging of melanoma and improve the prognostic accuracy from future melanoma data sets”, according to Dr Ben Tallon, one of its authors. Dr Tallon is a Tauranga-based consultant dermatologist and dermatopathologist who is a member of the MelNet Executive Committee.

US study finds low sunscreen use

9 May 2015

Sunscreen use is low, especially among certain demographic groups, according to an analysis of cross-sectional data in the United States. The study authors conclude that their findings can inform sun-safety interventions and the interpretation of surveillance data on sunscreen use.

Poor Practices in New Zealand’s Sunbed Industry

8 May 2015

More than 40 per cent of sunbed operators involved in a recent mystery shopper survey failed to implement key safety checks, according to Consumer NZ. One operator also allowed a 14-year-old to use a sunbed, despite the industry’s voluntary standard restricting sunbed use to people 18 years and over. Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said the results show regulation of the sector is needed.

Health Committee Rejects Sunbed Ban

5 May 2015

A ban on commercial sunbeds in New Zealand has been rejected by the Health Select Committee, despite strong recommendations for such a ban by a number of agencies. While the Committee does support a ban for people under 18 years old, it makes no further recommendations for the regulation of sunbeds, e.g., by mandating adherence to standards for their operation, which remain voluntary.

Improved Outcome with Combination Treatments

26 April 2015

Combination treatment with ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) led to higher response rates and longer progression-free survival (PFS) versus ipilimumab-only therapy, according to results published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The randomized, double-blind phase II clinical trial evaluated the combination therapy versus monotherapy with ipilimumab in patients with BRAF wild-type advanced melanoma and those with BRAF-mutant advanced melanoma.