How necessary is a sentinel node biopsy for melanoma?

A new report weighs the pros and cons of a sentinel node biopsy for melanoma patients.

National Cancer Institute Report shows cancer death rates dropping for most but not all cancers

The Annual Report on the status of cancer shows a decline in cancer deaths from major cancers including lung, colorectal, prostate, and breast, but some cancer deaths continue to increase specifically for men with melanoma as well as for those with liver, uterine, and pancreatic cancers.

‘‘Intermittent dosing’ strategy for BRAF inhibitor treatment holds promise for advanced melanoma

In an industry-academia collaboration, researchers have found an intermittent dose of vemurafenib, an oral BRAF inhibitor used to treat metastatic melanoma can help delay resistance in a mouse model. The results have implications for patients taking the drug.

Mutation Linked to Better Outcomes For Uveal Melanoma Patients

Researchers at Washington University found mutations in the gene SF3B1 are associated with a type of uveal melanoma that has better outcomes and is less likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Sorafenib does not improve survival in metastatic melanoma Phase III Trial Shows

Sorafenib plus chemotherapy did not improve the overall survival of metastatic melanoma patients not previously treated with chemotherapy. The trial results are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Smartphone Applications for Melanoma Diagnosis Are Not All Ready for Primetime

Researchers assessed latest apps that claim to help diagnose questionable moles as melanoma. The performance of the apps is highlight variable- 3 of 4 apps incorrectly classified one-third of melanomas as “not concerning”.

New Driver Mutations of Malignant Melanoma Discovered

Researchers at the Dana-Farber and Broad Institute in Boston identified 2 mutations that collectively occur in 71 percent of malignant melanoma tumors making them more common than the BRAF mutation. These highly “recurrent” mutations may be the most common mutations in melanoma cells found to date. The mutations are located in non-protein-coding DNA that regulates the activity of genes, both located in the promoter region of TERT, the telomerase enzyme

Wound Complications after Inguinal Lymph Node Lower Than Previously Reported Than in Previous Single Institution Trials

Of 281 cutaneous melanoma patients undergoing inguinal lymph node (ILND) dissection, 14% had wound complications, a rate much lower than those reported in previous single institution studies. In a multivariable model, obesity, and diabetes were significantly associated with wound complications. There was no difference in the rate of reoperation in patients with and without wound complications. The study concludes that the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) appears to underreport the actual incidence of wound complications after ILND.

IL-17E immunotherapy from Lorus Therapeutics in Partnership with Cancer UK is Prepping for Cancer Clinical Trials

Still in the pre-clinical stages, IL-17E immunotherapy is slated to enter clincial tirals as monotherapy and combo therapy for cancers including melanoma, pancreatic, gastric, colon, ovarian, breast, and lung cancers.