World Congress on Cancers of the Skin 2018
17 August 2018
The World Congress on Cancers of the Skin 2018 has featured many minds from MIA sharing their expertise and wealth of knowledge with over 1000 attendees from around the world. Coming together at the ICC in Sydney, it has been an insightful and educational Congress relating to skin cancer and melanoma.
A key feature evident throughout all presentations was the changing landscape relating to melanoma, and how far diagnosis, treatment and education have come. The exponential shift in melanoma survival rates over the last decade is reflective of the global melanoma research effort, however there remains much work still to be done.
Associate Professor Matt Carlino chaired the morning session, Local and Systemic Management of Advanced Melanoma, which included presentations on radiotherapy from Professor Angela Hong, and surgery from Associate Professor Robyn Saw and Professor John Thompson AO. Professor Thompson identified that while surgery has a changing place in melanoma treatment, it still cures 85% of Stage I & II disease. Surgery is not considered the preferred option for advanced melanoma patients, with immunotherapy and targeted therapy proving to be more effective.
Associate Professor Matt Carlino explained the issues surrounding targeted therapy and immunotherapy, and highlighted toxicity as one of the primary concerns of the treatments. The Congress was told, however, that these treatments are changing people’s lives and represent a huge step forward in increasing survival rates in advanced patients.
A key focus of the Congress was a session on Primary Prevention of Skin Cancer, where Dr Annika Smith and Associate Professor Anne Cust argued the importance of sunscreen and dispelled sunscreen myths citing accurate studies such as the ‘Primary Melanoma Project’, ‘The Vancouver Trial’, ‘The Nambour Trial’, as well randomised control trials. A key point emphasised was that use of sunscreen does not cause Vitamin D deficiencies. Delegates were advised that people should not deliberately expose themselves to the sun as incidental exposure is sufficient for Vitamin D levels. Sunscreen quantity and application were also highlighted as crucial.
Clinical Professor of Dermatology Darrell Rigel travelled from New York University Langone Medical Center to discuss US studies relating to sunscreen and melanoma prevention.
“The problem surrounding sunscreen application is simply that people aren’t using enough,” he said. Professor Rigel suggests that lack of cosmetic appeal is a major reason why people are avoiding sunscreen. “The best public health message is use a combination of protection; sunscreen and shade,” he said.
The afternoon session of Management of High Risk Early Stage Melanoma was chaired by Dr Alex Menzies and featured an entire MIA cohort with presentations from Professor Richard Scolyer, Professor Andrew Spillane, Dr Alexander Menzies and Professor Georgina Long.
Topics covered included staging guidelines, sentinel node biopsy, and adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapies. Professor Long emphasised the exciting time in the neoadjuvant therapy space with evidence suggesting drug therapy works better when a patient has an active tumour, rather than after the tumour has been surgically removed.
The WCCS has been an overwhelming success, with many brilliant minds banding together with the overall goal of better understanding skin cancer and melanoma, and ultimately better patient outcomes.
If you're a health professional and interested in taking your melanoma knowledge to the next level, check out our Melanoma Education Portal here.
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.
Melanoma patients and their families across Western Australia will benefit from strengthened and expanded services with the merging of melanomaWA and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Australian researchers have played a critical role in the discovery of a potential new test to predict which early stage melanoma patients are at high risk of their disease recurring and progressing.
We are extremely grateful for our community fundraisers, who, even in this difficult time, have given up their time and effort to fundraise so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.
Melanoma patients are set to benefit from subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients.
An informative article on how immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, written by Jill Margo and featured in the Australian Financial Review.
Melanoma patients and their families in the Riverina will benefit from strengthened and sustained melanoma services with the merger of the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Belmont High School at Lake Macquarie has been announced winner of the 2019 SunSafe Student Ambassador Program video competition.
It’s time again to say thank you to our amazing community fundraisers!
Videos of the sessions at the recent Patient Information Evening co-hosted by Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) are now available for viewing.
MIA is well-represented in the poster sessions at the Society for Melanoma Research 2019 Congress in the USA, with four poster presentations being given by members of our translational research lab.