The recommendation to minimize sun exposure to prevent skin cancer has produced a pandemic of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D has generated considerable interest in the past decade, as accumulating evidence from both retrospective and prospective epidemiologic studies suggests an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of autoimmune, infectious, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer.
Skin Cancer (Nonmelanoma)
Along with various imaging modalities, serologic tumor markers such as CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 have been used for decades to monitor treatment response in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Despite the frequent use of these markers, they lack high sensitivity and specificity for breast cancer progression. The prognostic significance of these markers remains indeterminate because of the conflicting outcome of many clinical trials. The circulating tumor cell (CTC) test has recently been studied in clinical trials in patients with MBC. Some of the studies showed that high levels of CTCs are correlated with poor survival in MBC. An intergroup trial is underway to determine the implication of changing treatment based on the CTC level. This article will discuss the current data on these markers, with special emphasis on the CTC test. The potential clinical utility of these markers will also be discussed.
The completion of a short web-based course improved the ability of primary care physicians to diagnose and manage benign and malignant skin cancer, according to the results of a new study.
Basal cell carcinoma often has a distinct appearance: a waxy bump that is pearly or translucent, with a rolled border is classic. But its appearance can raise suspicion for other conditions—mainly melanoma. Here are some examples of typical and atypical BCCs.
Since its inception in 1985, the American Academy of Dermatology's National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program has screened more than 1.7 million people and detected more than 171,200 suspicious lesions. More than 20,000 of these lesions were suspected melanomasthe most serious form of skin cancer.
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month
What Is Your Skin Cancer IQ?
Identifying BCC, SCC, and melanoma
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of vismodegib (Erivedge), for the treatment of advanced basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, for patients who are not eligible for surgery or radiation, and for metastatic disease.
A virus discovered last year in a rare form of skin cancer has also been found in people with the second most common form of skin cancer among Americans, according to researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Their findings were published online June 25, 2009, by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Annually, about 8,000 patients are found to have metastatic melanoma presenting as recurrence of an earlier primary melanoma, and this number closely approximates the annual number of deaths from the disease. This statistic illustrates the lack of progress that has been made in the treatment of stage IV melanoma over the past several decades.
The article by Bhatia and colleagues focuses on the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma using standard therapies, but it also includes a brief outline of recent treatment approaches using investigational agents. In addition, the authors describe prognostic factors for metastatic melanoma, highlighting the impact of the extent of tumor and the site of metastasis (eg, soft-tissue vs visceral metastases) on survival.