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.
Almost $9 million of new funding was awarded to 13 ground-breaking cancer research projects at the 2019 Cancer Council NSW Research Awards. The chosen world-class research teams are leading the charge towards a cancer free future by investigating new ways to diagnose and treat the disease. Melanoma Institute Australia researchers, including Co-Medical Directors Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer, Associate Professor Matteo Carlino and Dr James Wilmott, have been awarded Cancer Council NSW Funding of $425,095.
Georgina V. Long is co-medical director of Melanoma Institute Australia and Chair of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research. She is the first woman president of the Society for Melanoma Research.
Quintessential Aussie girl and media personality Sophie Monk has been announced as a National Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign, Melanoma March.
Australian researchers have for the first time identified specific cells and receptors in the immune system which predict how a patient will respond to treatment with immunotherapies, potentially paving the way for the development of personalised therapy for all cancer patients.
Melanoma March is thrilled to introduce Ricky as our official Principal Partner for 2019!
World record holder, Olympian and Australian swimming champion Cate Campbell has been announced as National Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign, Melanoma March.
MIA's expertise was essential to a recent Nature publication spearheaded by Perth’s Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Melbourne.
MIA is delighted to be hosting the MD Anderson pathologist on his first ever trip to Australia.
Clinicians, patients and other stakeholders in the cancer community are invited to make submissions in support of the PBS listing for dabrafenib and trametinib.
Three students from Arden Anglican School in Epping have won Melanoma Institute Australia’s (MIA) inaugural SunSafe Student Ambassador Award.
Mark Whittaker’s ‘Here comes the sun; Defending our summer rays’ (GW 24 Nov) clouds the sun-safe message – which could have disastrous consequences.
Professor Georgina Long is among only 12 researchers from the University of Sydney to be named in the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers List.
‘Wearing sunscreen should be as automatic as wearing a seatbelt. Both are potential life savers.’
The Poche Centre to host 3D total-body imaging system as part of world-first initiative to save lives from melanoma
A prestigious $10 million Australian Cancer Research Foundation grant has been awarded to ACEMID, an initiative that aims to use 3D total-body imaging and a remote medicine network to improve the detection and diagnosis of early-stage melanoma.
Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer have been recognised as world leaders in melanoma research for their ground-breaking work that has changed the diagnosis and treatment landscape of melanoma world-wide, and tripled the life-expectancy of advanced melanoma patients.
Leading researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia have taken out the top accolades at the NSW Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.
An impressive contingent of female delegates from Melanoma Institute Australia have presented findings across the whole spectrum of melanoma research at the Society for Melanoma Research 2018 Congress in Manchester, England.
Over 800 researchers and clinicians from around the world were welcomed to Manchester for the 15th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR). Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has again sent an impressive number of delegates to present both oral presentations and posters with the latest in translational research.
Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the Society for Melanoma Research
Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the world’s most prestigious international melanoma research association.
Two publications co-edited by MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer are now available to healthcare professionals. They aim to provide assistance in the care and management of patients with skin cancer, including melanoma.