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skin cancer

‘Real World’ Safety Study of Vemurafenib in BRAF V600–Mutated Metastatic Melanoma Shows Similar Safety Profile as Pivotal Trials

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Larkin et al, interim results of a safety study designed to reflect the spectrum of patients encountered in routine practice suggest that vemurafenib (Zelboraf) has a safety profile in patients with BRAF V600–mutated metastatic melanoma similar to that...

skin cancer

Final Report From Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial Supports Sentinel-Node Biopsy for Thick and Intermediate-Thickness Melanomas

The 10-year follow-up of the Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial (MSLT), reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Morton et al in the MSLT Group, provides support for use of sentinel-node biopsy for thick melanomas, as well as for intermediate-thickness melanomas. Current...

skin cancer

Nonsentinel Lymph Node Status Independently Predicts Melanoma-Specific Survival in Patients With Two or Three Positive Nodes

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Pasquali et al assessed the prognostic utility of nonsentinel lymph node status in patients with cutaneous melanoma. They found that nonsentinel lymph node status was a significant independent predictor of melanoma-specific survival in...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Study Identifies Key Mechanism Involved in Promoting Melanoma Proliferation

Researchers have identified a microRNA, miR-146a, that accelerates in the presence of BRAF and NRAS genetic mutations—which occur in 70% of melanoma cases—by activating the Notch signaling pathway. The finding could provide a new drug development target for patients with melanoma. The...

skin cancer

Extended Follow-up in BRIM-3 Shows Prolonged Survival With Vemurafenib in BRAF V600E/K Mutation–Positive Melanoma

In the BRIM-3 trial, vemurafenib (Zelboraf) was associated with improved progression-free and overall survival vs dacarbazine in patients with advanced BRAF V600 mutation–positive melanoma. In an extended follow-up reported in The Lancet Oncology, McArthur et al found that superior survival...

skin cancer

Antifungal Itraconazole Shows Activity in Basal Cell Carcinoma

In an open-label exploratory phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Kim et al found that the antifungal agent itraconazole, which inhibits the Hedgehog signaling pathway, reduced tumor cell proliferation, Hedgehog pathway activity, and tumor area in patients with basal cell...

skin cancer

Progression-Free Survival Can Be Used as Surrogate for Overall Survival in Metastatic Melanoma Trials With Dacarbazine Control Group

In a meta-analysis reported in The Lancet Oncology, Flaherty et al found that progression-free survival is a reliable surrogate for overall survival in clinical trials in metastatic melanoma that include dacarbazine as control treatment. Study Details In the analysis, 1,649 reports and meeting...

skin cancer

Biomarker May Predict Response to Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma

Among patients with advanced melanoma, presence of higher levels of the protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in blood was associated with poor response to treatment with the immunotherapy ipilimumab (Yervoy), according to a study by Yuan et al published in Cancer Immunology Research....

skin cancer

Dermoscopy Shows Characteristics of Cutaneous Metastases of Visceral Cancers

In a case series reported in JAMA Dermatology, Chernoff et al found that dermoscopic identification of vascular structures in cutaneous nodules in patients with known cancer diagnosis should raise suspicion for cutaneous metastasis. Study Details In the study, high-quality dermoscopic images of...

skin cancer
leukemia

Advanced Rai Stage Predicts Poor Outcome of Skin Cancer in CLL

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is associated with increased risk of skin cancer. In a study reported in JAMA Dermatology, Velez et al attempted to determine whether progression of CLL indicated by advanced Rai stage is associated with worse skin cancer outcomes. They found that risk of death...

skin cancer

FDA Approves Combination Therapy for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma With BRAF V600E/K Mutations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved trametinib (Mekinist) for use in combination with dabrafenib (Tafinlar) for the treatment of patients with unresectable melanoma or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600E or V600K mutations. These mutations must be detected by an FDA-approved...

skin cancer

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Associated With Survival Advantage in Merkel Cell Carcinoma

In patients with Merkel cell carcinoma, sentinel lymph node biopsy was shown to be associated with improved survival, according to the results of a retrospective study reported by Kachare et al in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. Thus, sentinel lymph node biopsy offers prognostic information that...

skin cancer

Phase II Pilot Study Does Not Support Phase III Investigation of IV High-Dose Interferon Without Maintenance in Resected Melanoma

There is evidence that high-dose interferon alfa-2b consisting of 4 weeks of daily intravenous interferon alfa-2b followed by 48 weeks of subcutaneous maintenance interferon alfa-2b three times per week reduces risk of recurrence of resected melanoma and that response may depend on the early...

skin cancer

Imiquimod 5% Cream Inferior to Surgical Excision in Nodular and Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma

In a noninferiority trial (SINS) reported in The Lancet Oncology, Bath-Hextall et al compared imiquimod 5% cream vs surgical excision for nodular and superficial basal cell carcinomas. Imiquimod cream was found to be inferior to surgical excision, but it may have a role in treatment of low-risk...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Novel BRAF Fusions Identified in 'Pan-Negative' Melanomas

A study by Sosman et al has identified two novel BRAF fusions in melanomas previously considered to be negative for molecular targets. In addition, these “pan-negative” melanomas were found to be sensitive to MEK inhibitors. According to the study, BRAF fusions define a new molecular...

skin cancer

Study Explores Risk of New Primary Melanomas After Diagnosis of Stage III/IV Melanoma in Patients Not Receiving BRAF Inhibitors

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Zimmer et al assessed the incidence of spontaneous new primary melanomas in patients with stage III or IV melanoma in order to help clarify risk of BRAF inhibitor–related new melanomas. They found that patients not receiving BRAF...

skin cancer

Studies Reveal Multiple Gene Alterations Responsible for Drug Resistance in BRAF-Mutated Melanoma

Two studies using whole-exome sequencing of treatment-resistant BRAF-mutated melanomas have identified multiple gene alterations, mostly affecting the MAPK pathway. Molecularly profiling BRAF-mutated melanoma patients at the time of resistance may improve their care by tailoring combinations of...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

New Studies Provide Insight Into Melanoma Drug Resistance Pathways and Strategy for Obtaining Durable Responses

Approximately 50% of metastatic melanomas harbor the BRAF mutation, and although most of these melanomas respond dramatically to treatment with BRAF inhibitors, such as vemurafenib (Zelboraf) and dabrafenib (Tafinlar), nearly all develop resistance to the drugs within 7 to 8 months. While previous...

skin cancer

Predictors of Sentinel Lymph Node Metastasis Identified in Thin Melanomas

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dale Han, MD, of Moffitt Cancer Center, and colleagues in the Sentinel Lymph Node Working Group attempted to identify factors predictive of sentinel lymph node metastasis in thin melanomas. They found that Breslow thickness ≥ 0.75 mm, ...

skin cancer

Additional Interim Data for Lambrolizumab Show Survival Benefit for Patients With Advanced Melanoma

Additional data for the investigational anti–PD-1 immunotherapy lambrolizumab (MK-3475) were presented yesterday at the 10th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research in Philadelphia. In patients with advanced melanoma, lambrolizumab demonstrated an estimated 1-year overall...

skin cancer

Number and Distribution of Childhood Nevi Predict Melanoma in Subjects From Families With Familial Melanoma

In a study reported in JAMA Dermatology, Astrid Vredenborg, MD, of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated whether acquired melanocytic nevi in childhood are an indicator of melanoma risk in children from families with familial melanoma. They found that number...

skin cancer
prostate cancer

Personal History of Prostate Cancer Increases Risk of Melanoma

History of severe acne, which is a surrogate for high androgen activity, has been associated with increased risk of prostate cancer and recent data suggest that severe teenage acne is a risk factor for melanoma. In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Wen-Qing Li, PhD, of the...

skin cancer

Nivolumab Shows Activity in Ipilimumab-Refractory or -Naive Melanoma in Phase I Trial

In a phase I trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, and colleagues assessed the effects of nivolumab—a human immunoglobulin G4-blocking antibody against the T-cell programmed death 1 checkpoint ...

issues in oncology
skin cancer
issues in oncology

New Biomarker May Help Guide Treatment of Melanoma Patients

A functional biomarker that can predict whether BRAF-mutant melanomas respond to drugs targeting BRAF could help guide the treatment of patients with these cancers, according to results presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

New Molecular Diagnostics Platform Enables Rapid Detection of BRAF V600 Mutations

A new diagnostic platform to detect BRAF mutations in melanoma and other cancer types is faster and more accurate compared with the standard method currently used in clinics, and this could help accelerate diagnosis and treatment, according to results presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International...

breast cancer
skin cancer

Potential New Drug Effective in Breast Cancer and Melanoma Resistant to Targeted Therapies

LEE011, an investigational small-molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6, showed promising results in drug-resistant melanoma and drug-resistant breast cancer when tested in combination with other targeted therapies, according to findings presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC...

skin cancer

Patients With Melanoma Do Not Maintain Cautious Behavior About Limiting Exposure to UV Radiation From the Sun

Patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma “do not maintain the cautious sun behavior they exhibit just after … diagnosis,” even though they are at increased risk for developing a second primary melanoma, data from a Danish study suggested. Based on measurements...

skin cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Intervention Program Improves Sun Protection Practices Among Children of Melanoma Survivors

Children of melanoma survivors were more likely to wear hats and reapply sunscreen after receiving a multimedia informational program designed specifically for them. These new findings were included in research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. A team of researchers...

skin cancer

ECC 2013: Multiple Studies Validate Long-Term Survival Benefit of Ipilimumab in Melanoma

There is no longer any doubt that for the treatment of metastatic or locally advanced melanoma, ipilimumab (Yervoy) conveys long-term survival benefits, according to studies presented at the European Cancer Congress 2013. In the largest survival analysis of the CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody to date...

skin cancer

Increases in Melanoma Incidence and Mortality Unremitting Over 6 Decades, Study Finds

In a study reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Alan C. Geller, MPH, RN, of the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues assessed long-term trends in the incidence and mortality of melanoma in Connecticut, a state with complete and consistent tumor registration. They found...

skin cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology

Sunscreen Use Infrequently Discussed With Patients, Even Those With History of Skin Cancer

Although the incidence of skin cancer is increasing, “the rate at which physicians are mentioning sunscreen at patient visits is quite low, even for patients with a history of skin cancer,” according to an analysis of data from more than 18.30 billion patient visits....

skin cancer

PDK1 Gene Identified as New Target for Melanoma Treatment

According to new research at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute a gene encoding the enzyme phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) plays an essential role in the development and progression of melanoma. The finding, published online in Oncogene, may offer insight toward a new approach to ...

skin cancer

FDA Grants Priority Review Designation for Dabrafenib/Trametinib Combination in Metastatic Melanoma

GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Priority Review designation to its supplemental New Drug Applications for the combined use of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic ...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

NCI Scientists Use NanoString Technology to Identify Targets for Melanoma Immunotherapy

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have identified seven targets that could potentially be used to develop new immunotherapies for patients with metastatic melanoma. Their findings could increase the number of patients eligible for adoptive immunotherapy. The study was reported in ...

skin cancer

Single Injection of PV-10 Being Tested in the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma

A new study underway at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, is investigating whether an intralesional injection of PV-10 (a substance derived from Rose Bengal, a staining agent that has been used to assess eye damage), is effective in reducing tumors and the spread of cancer in patients with...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Low Risk of Transformation to Melanoma for Biopsy-Diagnosed Mildly or Moderately Dysplastic Nevi, So Surgical Excision May Not Be Indicated

The risk of transformation to melanoma appears very low for biopsy-diagnosed mildly or moderately dysplastic nevi, and routine surgical excision of nevi with a positive biopsy margin may not be indicated. Patients with biopsy-diagnosed moderately-to-severely and severely atypical nevi, however,...

skin cancer

Enhanced Treatment, Surveillance Needed for Certain Melanoma Patients to Prevent Secondary Cancers, Researchers Say

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, suggest secondary cancers seen in melanoma patients who are being treated for a BRAF gene mutation may require new strategies, such as enhanced surveillance and combining BRAF-inhibitor therapy with other inhibitors, especially as they become...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Indoor Tanning Common Among Young White Females Despite Skin Cancer Risk

Indoor tanning, defined as using a tanning booth, sun bed, or sunlamp, is common among non-Hispanic white female high school students and young adults, despite risks of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, according to Gery P. Guy, Jr, PhD, MPH, and colleagues of the Centers for Disease...

skin cancer

Age-Related Variations Observed in Treatment of Melanoma

Age-related variations in the treatment of melanoma were observed in a study of melanoma and its management in the elderly compared to younger patients, according to a study by Dragos Ciocan, MD, of the Unité d’Aide Méthodologique, Hôpital Robert Debré, France, and...

skin cancer

Enhanced Treatment, Surveillance Needed for Patients With BRAF-Mutant Melanoma to Prevent Secondary Cancers

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center suggest secondary cancers seen in melanoma patients who are being treated for a BRAF gene mutation may require new strategies, such as enhanced surveillance and combining BRAF inhibitor therapy with other inhibitors, especially as they become more widely used....

skin cancer

Dabrafenib Active in BRAF-600E/K Mutant Metastatic Melanoma

In a phase II study (BREAK-2) reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, of Istituto Nazionale Tumori Fondazione G. Pascale, and colleagues assessed the activity of the mutated BRAF kinase inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) in patients with BRAF-V600E/K mutant metastatic...

skin cancer

Mechanism Offers Promising New Approach for Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer

Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have discovered a way to target the immune system to shrink or eliminate tumors in mice without causing autoimmune problems. Researchers also found evidence that the same mechanism may operate in humans. The study was published online today...

skin cancer
head and neck cancer

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Aid in Treatment and Prevention of Skin and Oral Cancers

Omega-3 fatty acids, contained in oily fish such as salmon and trout, selectively inhibit growth and induce cell death in early- and late-stage oral and skin squamous cell carcinomas, according to new research from scientists at Queen Mary, University of London. The findings were published online...

skin cancer

Nonsentinel Lymph Node Positivity Appears to be Significant Prognostic Factor in Patients with Melanoma

Nonsentinel lymph node positivity appears to be a significant prognostic factor in patients with stage III melanoma, according to a study by Anna M. Leung, MD, of the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, California, and colleagues. The study was published...

skin cancer
skin cancer

Intratumoral IL-12 Injections Shrink Melanoma and Merkel Cell Tumors

Intratumoral injections of plasmid DNA encoding interleukin-12 (IL-12), facilitated in its delivery by electroporation, results in tumor regression in patients with both metastatic melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma, according to findings reported at the 2013 World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress...

skin cancer

Surgeons Report Melanoma Recurs after 10 Years in More than 6% of Patients

Recurrence of melanoma skin cancer 10 or more years after initial treatment is more common than previously thought, occurring in more than 1 in 20 patients. However, according to a new study, these patients tend to live longer after their cancer returns than patients whose melanoma recurs in the...

skin cancer

Among White Adolescents and Young Adults with Melanoma, Males Have Higher Mortality Than Females

Melanoma is the third most common cancer among adolescents and young adults, but few studies have explored the survival differences by sex in this population. A new study published in JAMA Dermatology sought to determine whether long-term survival varied between white male and female...

skin cancer

Mortality Appears to be Higher for Patients with Thicker Single Primary Melanomas than for Thicker Multiple Primary Melanomas

Although overall mortality rates due to single primary melanomas and multiple primary melanomas appear to be similar, relative mortality for thicker single primary melanomas appears to be greater than that for thicker multiple primary melanomas, according to a study by Anne Kricker, PhD, of the...

skin cancer

Imatinib Active in Melanomas with KIT Mutation but Not KIT Amplification Alone

Mutations and amplifications in the KIT oncogene have been identified in mucosal and acral melanomas and in melanomas arising on chronically sun-damaged skin. In a multicenter phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, F. Stephen Hodi, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

DNA Sequencing Reveals Mucosal Melanoma's Genetic Fingerprint

Scientists have found a molecular "bullseye" for a rare form of melanoma, opening up opportunities for novel targeted treatment, according to new research published in the Journal of Pathology. Whole genome and whole exome sequencing carried out at Cancer Research UK’s Paterson Institute for ...

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