Research

Children and Melanoma

January 30, 2013 | Categories: Research

Years ago I worked at a hospital for children, raising money for pediatric medical research. The importance of this work was evident every time I walked the halls of the hospital. Seeing young children transported in little red wagons outfitted with IV poles was a powerful motivation to work harder for better therapies and cures.

FDA to Consider Patient Perspective in Drug Development

November 8, 2012 | Categories: News, Treatment, Research

The FDA is launching a new program in which they will consider and incorporate the patient perspective into drug development.  They will choose 20 diseases for the program and the MRF is lobbying to have melanoma be one of them.  As we all know, the patient perspective is important in any disease, but it is especially true with melanoma. 

Here is my letter to the FDA expressing this great need in the field of melanoma.

A Day With the Doctors

May 14, 2012 | Categories: Research

I spent the day last week in a meeting with doctors and researchers who gathered to discuss ocular melanoma, or melanoma of the eye.  It was the first bi-annual scientific meeting of CURE OM, the MRF’s program focusing on this rare cancer.  Spending 11 hours discussing the science of this cancer was informative and, frankly, rather exhausting.  Several things struck me about this meeting:

Fighting Dirty

February 8, 2012 | Categories: Events, News, Policy, Prevention, Research

I read the report from Congress’ House Energy and Commerce Committee with great interest.  They used interns to call 300 tanning salons—at least 3 in each state and the District of Columbia—and asked salon staff questions about tanning safety.  Presenting themselves as a 16 year old girl with blond hair and fair skin, they asked if tanning was dangerous and how much they could tan.

Gifts and Giving

December 27, 2011 | Categories: Research

 

A close relative is a two-time cancer survivor.  He was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer that is notorious for recurrence.  Fortunately the doctors caught it early and rounds of radiation and chemotherapy worked their magic on the tumor.  When he came back for a follow-up check after finishing therapy, they found a spot on his kidney.  He was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had to have that organ removed.  That was over a dozen years ago and he is still NED – no evidence of disease. 

Making the World Go Round

October 24, 2011 | Categories: Research

 

They say that money makes the world go round.  That money talks.  Certainly in the research field, money is the key to progress. 

We can truly say that right now in melanoma research, money is the primary limiting factor impeding progress. 

The Gift of Time

October 23, 2011 | Categories: Research

 

The answers came back fairly quickly:  “Yes,” “Yes,” “Happy to participate,” “Glad to help,” 

 

We are forming a scientific steering committee to direct the research agenda around ocular melanoma and I had sent a request to about 20 researchers asking them to volunteer their time.  The positive responses reflect the dedication and commitment of an amazing group of doctors and scientists.

Competition and Collaboration

June 1, 2011 | Categories: Research

In their most honest moments, the best and brightest scientific researchers agree that competition is good.  When researchers have to apply for limited funds they sharpen their thinking and put their best science forward.  This is why MRF has, from the beginning of our grant program, engaged in a competitive application process.  Researchers who seek funding must present a proposal that is reviewed by experts in the particular area being addressed by that proposal.  Only about one request in six is funded, and this competition for funds has always resulted in very, very