MRF Blog

Knowledge is Power

February 12, 2013 | Categories: Treatment

Yesterday, the MRF hosted a live webinar focusing on how to manage melanoma treatment in a rapidly changing landscape. As we prepared for the webinar, I heard disturbing stories of many patients receiving care that is sloppy, outdated, or just wrong:

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.

Lessons in Good and Bad

October 29, 2012 | Categories: Treatment

Several years ago, country comedians Archie Campbell and Roy Clark made famous a sketch based on the phrases “that’s good” and “that’s bad”.  Archie:  My uncle died.

Roy: That’s bad.

Archie: No, that’s good.

Roy:  How come?

Archie:  He left me $50,000!

Roy:  Oh, that’s good.

"Science" for Hire

October 13, 2012 | Categories: Prevention

The story is told of two friends walking down a country lane.  One was a merchant, the other a scientist.  The merchant looks into the adjacent field and comments, “Those cows sure are a pretty shade of brown.”  The scientist replies, “Well, we only know they are brown on this side.”

Buying Cancer with Influence

October 4, 2012 | Categories: Policy

We are in the middle of another election cycle and much of the conversation is on how much money is being spent on campaigns.  In this context, a recent blog by Leif Vasström, President of the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA), is particularly intriguing.

Looking back over his first year as President, this leader of the trade association for tanning salons claims tremendous victories.  Vasström notes:

A Hero in Every Household

August 22, 2012 | Categories: Prevention

Many years ago, I saved my wife’s life.  Not in that hyperbolic figurative way people talk about when you fix a flat tire in the rain or take them to the airport when the cab is late.  It was in a literal way – that very real, pulse-pounding, act-quickly-or-this-could-go-very-bad kind of way.    

Blunt Tools in the Art of Healing

August 10, 2012 | Categories: Treatment

 Years ago I heard a song by Harry Chapin: 

“If a man tried to take his time on Earth,

and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth,

well I wonder what would happen to this world?” 

The song is about trying to make a difference, trying to impact the world around you for good.  But it raises another question – one that is increasingly relevant in the cancer community:  What is the value of a human being? 

Closing a Gap in Health Care

June 25, 2012 | Categories: Treatment

We live in an information age.  The lyrics of a long-forgotten song, the email address of a high school sweetheart, the cube root of 97 are all available in microseconds through the power of the internet.  Yet even with so much information at our fingertips, sometimes critical information does not reach people who need it to survive.    

Stronger than Iron

June 19, 2012 | Categories: Prevention

Being a triathlete is something of a movement these days.  It follows in the wake of several years’ fascination with running marathons, but takes it a step further. The MRF recently formed a new partnership with the company most closely associated with the sport—Ironman.

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