A new generation of melanoma researchers
15 February 2018
Melanoma impacts more Australian teenagers and young adults than any other cancer. Dr James Wilmott, who has a young family of his own, has devoted his career to determining why these young Australians are susceptible to melanoma, and importantly, how to save them.
James Wilmott is part of the new generation of melanoma researchers, and was drawn to Melanoma Institute Australia by the direct link between clinical research and patient care. He knew this was an area in which he could really make a difference.
“Being a scientist, you don’t often see patients in your day to day work,” he explains. “I thought by working at Melanoma Institute Australia, where it brings together clinical research and basic science, I could see patients as well as do the cutting edge research.”
Dr Wilmott’s work focuses on why 15 to 39 year olds are being diagnosed with melanoma at a higher rate than any other cancer. Early results of whole genome sequencing of tumours from these patients show 90% of all mutations in a 16 year old patient are caused by the sun – a surprising result given the young age of the patient.
“It is surprising because it looks similar to what we see in adults… and the accumulation over a lifetime,” Dr Wilmott says. “They must have some sort of genetic abnormalities that make them more susceptible to UV damage. If we can pinpoint the genes that make them susceptible, and then find them in other young patients, we can target them with preventative measures to prevent them from getting melanoma in the first place.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in melanoma research. We’re making great inroads into melanoma care,” he said.
James’ is the latest in a series of emotive videos launched by Melanoma Institute Australia, showing the impact of melanoma on everyday Australians. Watch his story here and join him in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.
The 2021 Australasian Melanoma Conference (AMC2021) will held in Sydney, Australia.
A re-cap of the wonderful, and often very creative, community fundraising initiatives over the April to June quarter.
Our patients who donate their tissue samples and records to our research are helping to make a difference to the lives of future melanoma patients.
MIA researchers have recently been awarded two competitive funding grants, which will help facilitate their ground-breaking work in melanoma research.
Melanoma survivor Matt Kean is doing a 1000km bike ride around the Riverina this October, to increase awareness of melanoma and raise funds for Amie St Clair Melanoma - MIA. There are many ways you can be part of this life-changing ride!
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Amie St Clair Melanoma at the Annual Ball in Wagga Wagga!
Riverina patients gain access to potentially life saving immunotherapy treatment close to home.
MIA's Prof Scolyer has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia.
In a breakthrough which could extend to the treatment of other cancers, a new immune checkpoint inhibitor has proven effective in helping save the lives of advanced melanoma patients.
Whilst our research and clinical teams are trialling new treatments to save lives, it is our nurses who are on the front line providing care and support.
The easing of COVID restrictions has meant the return of community events, and we recognise the generous support of our community fundraisers.
Melanoma patients and their carers are being urged to participate in a ground-breaking survey which will shape the future of melanoma treatment, research, support and funding in Australia.
We have been buoyed by the wonderful support for our Melanoma March campaign, and our mission to cover Australia in footprints continues into April!
There was a wonderful feeling of community support amongst the melanoma patients, families and friends at the WA Melanoma Community Form.
The Price family has decided to share their story to inspire Australians to support research into new melanoma treatments.
New research has provided evidence in favour of a structured skin surveillance program for high-risk melanoma patients.
Melanoma research saved Bert's life at 101 and now he wants to give back.
A new MIA online risk calculator for clinicians can determine the likelihood of thin melanoma spreading.