News and Events

Preferences of physicians for treatment-related toxicity vs. recurrence in melanoma

17 May 2024

The role of physicians in adjuvant treatment decisions of patients is crucial. This recent study highlights the importance of understanding the patient’s perspective and a potential difference to the doctor’s view when making decisions about adjuvant melanoma treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors and BRAF/MEK inhibitors.

Acral amelanotic melanoma: Increased vigilance and proactive diagnostic approach needed to increase early detection rates and improve prognostic outcomes

17 May 2024

This systematic review aims to synthesise evidence on cases of acral amelanotic melanomas (AAM) initially misdiagnosed as other conditions, to better understand their clinical and epidemiological characteristics, diagnostic pitfalls, and management strategies. The study cocludes that the underutilisation of biopsy in the diagnosis of lower extremity lesions contributes significantly to the misdiagnosis and delay in treatment of AAMs. Especially when the clinical assessment and dermoscopy are inconclusive, biopsies of suspicious lesions are essential.

Vascular mimicry as a facilitator of melanoma brain metastasis

17 May 2024

Acccording to this recent study, vascular mimicry (VM) may be an important and targetable mechanism in melanoma, and VM inhibition might be useful for treating melanoma brain metastases, an area of high unmet clinical need, thus having important implications for future treatment regimens for these patients.

Brain MRI remains gold standard compared to PET-CT to detect cerebral metastases in melanoma patients

16 May 2024

PET-CT is one of the preferred examinations for the staging of oncological patients. The objective of this recent study was to compare the accuracy of PET-CT and cerebral MRI to detect brain metastases in melanoma patients. The study highlights the crucial role of brain MRI, which remains the gold standard to detect cerebral metastases. Authors of the study conclude that brain MRI should be performed on patients with high-risk melanoma from stage IIC to exclude brain metastases.

Genomic deletions explain generation of alternative BRAF isoforms conferring resistance to MAPK inhibitors in melanoma

16 May 2024

Resistance to MAPK inhibitors, the main cause of relapse in BRAF-mutant melanoma, is associated with the production of alternative BRAF mRNA isoforms (altBRAFs) in up to 30% of patients receiving BRAF inhibitor monotherapy. These altBRAFs have been described as being generated by alternative pre-mRNA splicing, and splicing modulation has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy to overcome resistance. In contrast, authors of this recent study report that altBRAFs are generated through genomic deletions. These results represent a major shift in our understanding of mechanisms leading to the generation of BRAF transcripts variants associated with resistance in melanoma.

AMRF: Call for applications for a melanoma or other skin cancer Fellowship

16 May 2024

The Auckland Medical Research Foundation is calling for applications for the J.I. Sutherland Medical Research Fellowship. This Fellowship provides support for a medical or non-medical graduate who wishes to undertake full-time medical research for a PhD or an MD in the specific field of melanoma or other skin cancer research.

Effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

15 April 2024

The aim of this recent study was to review the outcomes of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment of advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) outside clinical trials. The study concludes that the effectiveness and toxicity of ICI therapy were similar to those determined in clinical trials, suggesting that ICIs could be effective and well tolerated by people with advanced CSCC who are ineligible for clinical trials.