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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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