Reviewing treatment modalities for melanoma provides many sobering reminders that advances in our scientific understanding have not yet translated into meaningful clinical benefit. As clearly delineated by the authors, the “standard” treatment of dacarbazine chemotherapy has a poor response rate and lacks durability.
Metastatic melanoma continues to be a challenging disease to treat, with an estimated 8,420 related deaths in the United States in 2008. The 10- year survival rate for patients with metastatic melanoma is less than 10%. More than 3 decades after its initial approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1975, dacarbazine continues to be the standard of care for most patients with this disease. High-dose interleukin-2 (HD IL-2 [Proleukin]), approved by the FDA in 1998 for metastatic melanoma, benefits a small subset of patients.
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.
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.
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers have discovered a previously unknown virus strongly associated with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but aggressive skin cancer that typically affects elderly and immunosuppressed individuals
When you inspect moles, pay special attention to their sizes, shapes, edges, and color. A handy way to remember these features is to think of the A, B, C, and D of skin cancer—asymmetry, border, color, and diameter.
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.
According to a 2005 survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, 92% of the respondents understood that getting a tan from the sun is dangerous. Yet, 65% said that they think they look better when they have a tan.