Fueling a Revolution: Driving Research Forward
MRA is powering a revolution in melanoma research. A revolution that is not only benefiting patients with melanoma but also impacting the field of oncology at large.
Take Life as it Comes
At her local hospital, Karen was told she had both lung and brain cancer. She was in shock – she had been feeling great and was diligent about eating right and exercising. It wasn’t until she met MRA-funded investigator, Dr. Rizwan Haq at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that she learned that her tumors were actually caused by malignant, stage 4 melanoma. Following radiosurgery and combination immunotherapy, Karen’s melanoma is stable.
Advancing Acral Melanoma Research
Patients with acral melanoma, a rare subtype of the disease that develops in the nailbeds, palms, or soles of the feet are particularly underserved by today’s treatments.So, improving outcomes for all advanced melanoma patients will, in part, depend on developing new treatments for acral and other rare subtypes of melanoma like uveal and mucosal melanoma. Those treatments, in turn, will depend on more research on these subtypes that deepens our understanding of what causes them or enables them to flourish.
Next-Generation Treatments for Melanomas
Improvements in survival over the last decade for patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma is largely due to the development of ground-breaking novel treatments, such as the first BRAF inhibitor and checkpoint immunotherapy. Building on the success of these new treatment approaches, researchers are hard at work developing meaningful improvements through next-generation treatments that could improve patient outcomes.
Elizabeth McGowan & Outpedaling 'The Big C'
To celebrate her fifth anniversary of being NED, Elizabeth McGowan set out on a 4,250- mile adventure across the United States, coined 'Heals on Wheels.' Now, 20-years later, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author shares insight into her journey with melanoma and her solo bicycle trek in her book: "Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America."
Integrative Medicine Answers the Question: ‘What Can I Do to Support My Treatment?’
When Dr. Gary Deng sits down with a new patient to discuss their goals and how integrative medicine can fit into their overall treatment plan, he likens his work to taking care of a plant. “With the right amount of water, sunshine, fertilizer, and soil – a plant will thrive. That’s what integrative medicine is looking to do, but with an entire person,” says Deng.
Working to Take the Luck Out of Melanoma
Ellen believes that research is the best tool we have to “take the luck” out of melanoma. She’s proud to be involved with an organization – and a cause – that is relentlessly moving forward in search of answers, new treatments, and ultimately a cure for melanoma. “I know that given the right support, research will get us there,” she says.
Expanding the Tool Box: New Melanoma Treatment Approaches Being Explored
Despite the tremendous progress made in melanoma treatments over the last 10 years, only about half of such patients respond favorably to current treatments. During the MRA’s Melanoma > Exchange Patient & Advocate Forum, MRA-funded investigators shared updates on emerging science and promising clinical trials.
For Melanoma Researcher Dr. Betina Yanez, It’s All About the Journey
If you close your eyes and imagine what a melanoma researcher looks like, Dr. Betina Yanez is probably not what you imagine. That’s because Dr. Yanez, a health psychologist by training, isn’t your typical melanoma researcher. Instead of researching new treatment targets or experimental combination therapies, she focuses on patient experience and quality of life.
Putting Her Faith in Research & Her Doctor
All things considered, things are looking up for Margaret Oplinger. A marble-sized tumor is all that’s left of her Stage 4 melanoma; and her ongoing treatment, every-other week with nivolumab (Opdivo®), will hopefully enable her immune system to attack – and eliminate – this last remnant.