​It's Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Please join the AACR in supporting skin cancer and melanoma research.

There are several different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell skin cancer, and squamous cell skin cancer.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is a very common cancer in the United States, with more than 3 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are nonmelanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body than the more common forms of skin cancer.

Although melanoma represents 5 percent of the skin cancer cases diagnosed in the United States each year, it results in the most deaths. According to estimates made from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, 91,270 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and nearly 9,320 people will die of the disease in 2018.

Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.

In addition to the skin, melanoma may also occur in mucous membranes – thin, moist layers of tissue that cover surfaces such as the lips – or in the eye, which is called ocular or uveal melanoma.

What the AACR Is Currently Doing in This Area

Cancer survivor Carrie Best is beating a rare type of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma thanks to an immunotherapy clinical trial. Read more of her story in the AACR Cancer Progress Report.

In January 2019, the AACR will present the AACR Special Conference on Melanoma, which will gather leaders in the field of melanoma research on topics such as cancer detection, pr​evention, and multi-disciplinary treatment.

In addition to this conference, the AACR was pleased to recognize several researchers for their work in the field of melanoma in 2018.

The AACR and the Ocular Melanoma Foundation (OMF) support the Ocular Melanoma Foundation-AACR Fellowship, in honor of the Kammerman family, to find cures and better treatments for ocular melanoma – a rare and aggressive form of melanoma. The grantee for 2018 is Alison H. Skalet, MD, PhD, of the Oregon Health & Science University for her study, "Circulating Hybrid Cells as a Prognostic Biomarker for Uveal Melanoma."

The Estate of William Maness has graciously donated funds for the AACR Scholar-in-Training Awards in memory of William Maness. These awards will support early-career investigators who presented meritorious abstracts on melanoma research at the AACR Annual Meeting 2018. The awardees were: Julien Ablain, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital, for his study, "Tissue-Specific CRISPR in Zebrafish Identifies PVRL1 as a Novel Metastasis Suppressor Gene in Melanoma;" Emily Z. Keung, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for her study, "The Impact of Combination Oral Azacitidine (CC-486) + Pembrolizumab (PEMBRO) on the Immune Infiltrate in Metastatic Melanoma (MM);" Bradley D. Shields, of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, for his study, "E-Cadherin Enhances Immune Control of Metastatic Melanoma;" David M. Woods, PhD, of NYU Langone Health, for his study, "Nivolumab-Induced Changes Associated with Patient Outcomes are Disparate in Metastatic Melanoma Patient Tregs Versus Conventional T-Cells;" and Hanlin Zeng, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, for his study, "Bi-Allelic Loss of CDKN2A Initiates Melanoma Invasion and Metastasis Via E2F1-BRN2 Axis."

One of the AACR-June L. Biedler Scholar-in-Training Awards went to Chao Zhang, of the University of South Florida, for his melanoma-focused work, "Ligand-Independent EphA2 Signaling Drives an Amoeboid Phenotype That Promotes Melanoma Brain Metastasis Development."

Salma Kaochar, PhD, of the Baylor College of Medicine, was the recipient of an AACR Women in Cancer Research Scholar Awards, for her work, "A Highly Potent Novel Class of SRC-3 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Uveal Melanoma."

The AACR's mission is to prevent and cure all forms of cancer.

Source: National Cancer Institute

Last year the AACR provided over $49 million in grants and awards funding lifesaving cancer research. There are many ways you can support our mission to prevent and cure all cancers. Take Action

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