Gail: Stage 4 to NED (No Evidence of Disease) Through a Clinical Trial
Gail was already on her way out the exam room door, following her annual physical, before she remembered to ask about a dry cough she’d had for about a week.
Amy Fights for Acral Melanoma to be Seen
For patients diagnosed with acral melanoma today, Amy offers the following advice: “You aren’t alone. If you find a spot – any spot, really that looks different or concerns you – get it checked out. Advocate for a biopsy because doctors don’t always know what they are looking for when it comes to acral melanoma.”
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.