A man of commitment
6 February 2015
Melanoma patient Joel Allsop was congratulated today on completing his participation in the international surgical clinical trial, known as MSLT-II. He was the first person in the world to complete the 10 years of follow-up for this trial. This outstanding commitment was acknowledged by Melanoma Institute Australia’s Executive Director, Professor John Thompson, who has been involved in the trial and Joel’s care from the beginning.
At age 33, Joel was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma originating from a small mole on his thigh. He was referred to Professor Thompson in December 2004 and was invited to participate in the clinical trial. The MSLT-II trial is assessing whether complete lymph node dissection or monitoring with ultrasound is the most effective way at treating patients who have a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy. Interim findings from the study are expected in the next year or so, with the final results being published after the decade-long follow-up of the last patient is undertaken. This international trial has only recently completed recruiting and has 1937 patients from around the world involved in the trial.
Joel was randomised on the trial to receive follow-up with ultrasound. His commitment throughout the past decade has been regular appointments and ultrasounds ranging from every 4 months in the beginning to every year after 5 years. A Sydney local for most of the decade, Joel spent 2 years during the trial flying to Sydney from Perth every 6 months to stay on the trial.
“I am a stubborn man! I will see things through to the end!” says Joel when asked about why he stayed on the trial for the whole decade.
With a family history of cancer, Joel realised that his participation would have long-lasting benefits beyond his own melanoma journey. “I knew I was getting the best possible care on the trial, but I also realised that my participation would have benefits to melanoma patients around the world.”
A decade on, Joel is healthy and his melanoma hasn’t progressed. Although getting melanoma was a “surreal blur” in the beginning, his journey has now given him a fresh perspective on life.
“Having melanoma has helped me re-evaluate what is important in life and given me clearer perspective,” says Joel. “Two years ago I was made redundant, and instead of thinking that the end of the world had come, I thought ‘well, things could be worse!’”.
For the 2nd consecutive year, MIA's Co-Medical Director Professor Ricahrd Scolyer has been selected in the top 100 best, brightest, and most powerful advocates of pathology by The Pathologist.
As of Monday 27th July all patients and carers/family members coming into The Poche Centre will be required to bring their own mask.
In a recent issue of Cancer Cell journal, Prof Georgina Long AO and Prof Richard Scolyer discuss the challenge of bringing together clinical work and scientific research to underpin successful cancer research.
Clinicians around the world now have access to a new online calculator that predicts the risk that a patient’s primary melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Professor Long has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for distinguished service to medicine, particularly, to melanoma clinical and translational research, and to professional medical societies.
“I had a complete response within about six months. All of my tumours disappeared."
‘We are extremely proud of our ongoing contribution to the global effort to save lives from melanoma, with Dr Silva’s prestigious award proof that we continue to lead the way,'
MIA's Co-Medical Director, Professor Richard Scolyer, has achieved a Google Scholar h-index of 100.
We know what Melanoma March means to our community, so when we had to cancel our physical events, we created Melanoma March Virtual so that everyone across Australia could still connect to honour loved ones and support each other.
A must-read personal account by Garry Maddox in The Sydney Morning Herald of how immunotherapy is revolutionising melanoma treatment.
On Friday, a publication that lays out the steps needed to find out if a systematic screening program for melanoma would benefit all Australians was published in the Australia & New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
Thank you to the thousands of Aussies who bought ‘Game On Mole‘ t-shirts, took selfies, shared t-shirt pics on social media and started lifesaving conversations around sun safety and skin health.
Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.
Brisbane couple Leon and Tamra Betts were, like thousands of others around Australia, on the couch watching MAFS when newlywed Natasha ran through her weekly beauty routine. When they heard the 26-year-old mention solarium use, they were shocked, and then saddened, prompting this open letter to all young Australians.
Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia, will welcome international attendees this weekend to a sold-out, two-day course on ‘Pigmented Lesions and Other Hot Topics in Dermatopathology’.
It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.
Throughout January our community created, hosted and participated in some amazing events, each of them helping us on our quest to reach zero deaths from melanoma.
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.