The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2014

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

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Page 69 of 103

S K I N C A N C E R F O U N D A T I O N J O U R N A L 68 "HOPE" IS A TERM that has been frequently used over the years for patients with advanced melanoma, but never before has it been as true. Un- precedented progress has been made in treatment, with new approaches such as "targeted" therapies that block specif c cancer-causing proteins and "immunotherapies" that bolster the immune system against melanoma. These new strategies have led to tre- We f nally have an arsenal of ever more ef ective treatments for advanced melanoma. Now, how do we put them to best use to f nd a cure? Jason J. Luke, MD F. Stephen Hodi, MD Patrick A. Ott, MD, PhD Unstoppable No More Cancer-fi ghting T-cells attack melanoma. mendous optimism, with more patients than ever achieving long-term survival. These treatment approaches are a quan- tum leap from just a decade ago, when chemotherapies such as dacarbazine were the mainstay of treatment. However, these advancements have also generated new questions. Possi- bly the most pressing question of all is how to select and combine these therapies to greatest advantage. A Wave of Approvals I n the past three years, after 13 years with no approvals for melanoma, the U.S. Food and Drug Adminis- tration (FDA) approved three tar- geted drugs and one targeted drug combination. All of these medicines were approved for advanced mela- noma patients with a specif c mu- tation (in a gene called BRAF) that is found in approximately half of all Health

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