Skin Cancer 101 - Melanoma Educational Seminar
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
If you missed the seminar you can now watch it online. The Johns Hopkins multispecialty skin cancer treatment team discuss prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Dermatologist Timothy Wang, M.D. gives a general overview of skin cancer and what you need to know about prevention and diagnosis. Surgeon Julie Lange, M.D. and medical oncologist William Sharfman, M.D. discuss treatment updates and advances in melanoma, the most fatal type of skin cancer.
Cancer Therapy That Boosts Immune System Ready For Wider Testing
Two clinical trials led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers in collaboration with other medical centers, testing experimental drugs aimed at restoring the immune system’s ability to spot and attack cancer, have shown promising early results in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and kidney cancer. More than 500 patients were treated in the studies of two drugs that target the same immune-suppressive pathway, and the investigators say there is enough evidence to support wider testing in larger groups of patients. The investigators say the treatment is safe, shrinks some tumors and a marker they identified may predict response. Read more.
More Good News on Melanoma Drug
New studies on the FDA-approved drug vemurafenib show more progress in treating melanoma. Melanoma specialist Evan Lipson, M.D. comments on the study in the Cancer Matters blog.
Melanoma Drug Among Top Trends in Cancer Research
Melanoma specialist Evan Lipson, M.D., cited the approval of the immune-based drug ipilumumab (Yervoy) as a major milestone in cancer treatment, not just for melanoma, but for cancer treatment in general, he says. There is likely much more to come from researchers seeking ways to use a patient's own immune system to attack cancer. Listen to Lipson's podcast on the Cancer Matters blog discussing this topic.
New Frontiers in Melanoma Management
After participating in this activity, the participant will demonstrate the ability to:
- Identify current approaches to the surgical management of melanoma.
- Discuss the evaluation and development of biomarkers for diagnosis, staging and treatment of melanoma.
- Describe current recommended clinical practice for excision of localized melanomas and patient selection for sentinel lymph node biopsy.
- Identify novel agents and combination systemic therapies of melanoma currently being evaluated in clinical trials.
- Explain current approaches to the surgical management of melanoma.
Medical oncologists, hematologist/oncologists, surgical oncologists, dermatologists, oncology nurses, advanced practice nurses, and other healthcare professionals, who care for melanoma patients.
May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Register today for a free skin cancer screening at two convenient locations:
Johns Hopkins Community Physicians at White Marsh
4924 Campbell Blvd., Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21236
Wednesday, May 11, 5:30–8 p.m.
Johns Hopkins Community Physicians at Greater Dundalk
2112 Dundalk Ave.
Dundalk, MD 21222
Thursday, May 19, 5:30–7 p.m.
Registration is required. Please call 877-546-1009.
Tanning Beds and Melanoma Risk
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Director William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., weighs in on the increase in risk of melanoma in people who use tanning beds. Listen to the podcast
Johns Hopkins Melanoma Program in the New York Times
An article by Roger Martin, a patient with metastatic melanoma treated successfully at Johns Hopkins, appeared in the New York Times on January 4th. In this article, Mr. Martin writes about his care at Johns Hopkins and his experiences with this disease. His physician, Dr. William Sharfman, is the Clinical Co-Director for Oncology in the Hopkins Melanoma Program. For more information, click here.
Melanoma Expert Charles Balch Edits New Textbook
The fifth edition of the authoritative textbook Cutaneous Melanoma, edited by Dr. Charles Balch with other field experts, is now in print. Cutaneous Melanoma is a comprehensive treatise covering the epidemiology, prognosis, prevention, treatment, and biology of this disease. It serves as a reference for clinicians and scientific investigators worldwide. In addition to Dr. Balch, other contributors from the Hopkins Melanoma Program include Drs. Lieping Chen, Julie Lange, Lisa Jacobs, Joseph Califano, Nanette Liegeois, Richard Wahl, Anthony Tufaro, and Suzanne Topalian.
Brittany Lietz testifies before FDA
Brittany Lietz, a former Miss Maryland and melanoma survivor, has become a spokesperson for skin cancer prevention and the dangers of tanning beds. Her story can be found on our home page. On November 20th, Brittany joined a group of experts and advocates to testify to the Food and Drug Administration, urging better tanning bed regulation and improved labeling of sunscreen products.
Johns Hopkins Cancer Specialists Featured In Baltimore Magazine's Top Doctors List
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center physicians are honored in a listing of "Top Doctors" in the November 2007 issue of Baltimore Magazine. To develop the list, area physicians were polled on their preferred practitioners in a wide array of specialties. 50 of them are experts at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, including these melanoma experts:
Charles Balch, M.D. (Surgical Oncology)
Patrick Byrne, M.D. (Otolaryngology)
Bernard Cohen, M.D. (Pediatric Dermatology)
James Handa, M.D. (Ophthalmology)
Paul Manson, M.D. (Plastic Surgery)
William Sharfman, M.D. (Medical Oncology)
Richard Wahl, M.D. (Nuclear Medicine)
Lietz to Speak at Johns Hopkins Conference
Brittany Lietz, a former Miss Maryland and national spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, will talk about her experience with melanoma, during the 13th annual Johns Hopkins health conference, "A Woman's Journey". Lietz, 22, the youngest person ever to speak at AWJ, is working towards a degree in nursing in pediatric oncology and participates in a melanoma patient advocacy group at Johns Hopkins.
In the day-long series of seminars on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007 from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Johns Hopkins faculty offer 32, hour-long presentations covering issues in prevention, treatment and diagnosis of diseases affecting women. Topics include, aging, heart disease, stress, weight loss and depression.
Tickets to the conference are $95 per person or $75 per student. The conference is designed for the general public, but social workers, personal trainers, nurses and other health care professionals are eligible for continuing education credit for attending. To reserve a place or for more information about group discounts or continuing education credits, call 410-955-8660 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration can also be completed via the conference Web site: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/awomansjourney.
International Immunology Conference
Johns Hopkins Melanoma Program member Lieping Chen, M.D., Ph.D., co-chaired the International Conference on Immunology 2007 held July 12 to 15, 2007 in Shanghai, China. Hosted by the Chinese Society for Immunology and National Natural Science Foundation of China, the conference is an international forum for immunologists and scientists to showcase the most updated findings in basic and clinical immunology. Also co-chairing the meeting were immunologists from the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, China and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.More information at www.immunol.org.
Balch Receives ASCO Award
Dr. Charles M. Balch will receive the 2007 American Society of Clinical Oncology Special Recognition Award on June 2nd at ASCO?s annual meeting in Chicago. ASCO is the largest association of oncology specialists in the US, and Dr. Balch served as its executive vice president and CEO immediately prior to joining the Hopkins faculty on a full time basis in 2006. This award honors him for his outstanding long-term service to ASCO and to the field of clinical oncology. Dr. Balch is an internationally recognized expert in the staging and surgical treatment of melanoma. With a history of conducting pivotal research and clinical innovations in melanoma care, he has led randomized clinical trials to set the standards for melanoma surgical margins, wrote the definitive textbook on melanoma for health care professionals, and chairs the American Joint Committee on Cancer Melanoma Staging Committee that determines worldwide staging parameters. Dr. Balch was among the first surgeons to perform sentinel lymph node biopsies when this technique was introduced in the 1980?s. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is now well-established as a staging procedure for patients with newly diagnosed melanoma and often helps guide treatment choices. Areas of ongoing debate surrounding this procedure involve interpretation of whether residual microscopic disease has an impact on outcomes, and whether complete lymph node dissections are mandated upon finding microscopic deposits of melanoma in sentinel lymph nodes. Under Dr. Balch?s leadership, Johns Hopkins is participating in the international randomized Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial II (MLST II) to determine whether patients with melanoma in the sentinel lymph node have improved survival following completion node dissection, compared to patients who are observed without dissection.
Journal of Clinical Oncology Review
Medical oncology fellow Leslie Fecher, M.D., Rhoda Alani, M.D., and colleagues published a review in the April 20, 2007 edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The article, Toward a Molecular Classification of Melanoma, is a comprehensive review of the most, well-established molecular and genetic pathways in melanoma biology. It outlines the supporting research validating these pathways and potential methods to target them with new therapies. The clinical correlation includes discussion of various agents and their current status in clinical trials, focusing on their application in melanoma. Read the abstract.
Medical Student Wins National Award
Amena DeLuca, a medical student working with Rhoda Alani, M.D., in the Laboratory of Cutaneous Oncology is the 2007 recipient of the Klea D. Bertakis Award. This award is given to the top Western Student Medical Research Forum oral presentation. Ms. DeLuca presented a lecture at the annual Western Student Medical Research Forum in Carmel, CA in January where she spoke about her melanoma research in Dr. Alani's Lab in a lecture entitled "NF-KB function in Melanoma Development and Progression". She was awarded the top prize from over five hundred participants including graduate students and medical students performing research in the Biomedical Sciences. Ms. DeLuca is an Invited Speaker for the American Federation for Medical Student Research Forum in Galveston TX (2007) where she will present her latest data on "NF-KB in Melanoma" later this month.
Dr. Nanette Li'geois organized and chaired the annual International Transplant Skin Cancer Collaborative (ITSCC) meeting which occurred on February 1st, 2007, in concert with the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. International experts from the fields of dermatology, immunology and transplantation surgery convened at this meeting to exchange ideas about the management of melanomas and other kinds of skin cancers in patients who have undergone organ transplantation. The immunosuppressive drugs required to prevent organ rejection following transplantation can predispose patients to developing skin cancers of different kinds, including melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and basal cell carcinomas. Treating skin cancers in immunosuppressed patients presents special challenges, which were the focus of this meeting. Dr. Li'geois specializes in Moh's microsurgery, a surgical technique often instrumental in treating squamous cell carcinomas which may occur in multiple locations in immunosuppressed patients. She is the Director of Dermatological Surgery in the Department of Dermatology at Johns Hopkins, and Clinical Co-Director of the Hopkins Melanoma Program. For more information about the ITSCC, please visit www.itscc.org.
Foundation Funds Two Grad Students
On February 7, 2007, the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation (JMNMF) announced presentations of two Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation Research Scholar Awards. The inaugural award of one scholarship by the Foundation in 2006 increased to two in 2007, to support and acknowledge remarkable graduate students working to advance melanoma research. Ms. Megan Keefe in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program and Ms. Courtney Silverthorn in the Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences Program, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, are highly recommended for their notable research progress and accomplishments in the laboratory of Rhoda Alani, M.D.
American Skin Association Grant
Amena DeLuca, a medical student working in the laboratory of Dr. Rhoda Alani, was awarded a grant from the American Skin Association for her project entitled "The Role of NF-Kappa B in Melanoma Progression". This award is provided annually to support the basic research program of a top medical student in the United States who is working in the area of skin biology. Ms. DeLuca's project will be the springboard for the development of new markers for melanoma and is expected to pave the way for the identification of novel therapies for advanced melanoma.