Your Funds Are Helping Us Tackle Skin Cancer and Melanoma

Source: SkinandCancer Foundation Inc, April 2015

Over 1,200 people participated in the March Against Melanoma™ last month at The Tan in Melbourne. Your efforts raised over $66,000 which is being used for melanoma research.

Doctor Victoria Mar, a consultant dermatologist, is leading our research into melanoma.

Dr Victoria Mar'

Dr Victoria Mar’s melanoma research has been supported by the 2015 March Against Melanoma.
Source: Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc

Dr Mar has a keen interest in early detection and management of cutaneous melanoma. She is currently working to assist in improving diagnosis and mapping of lentigo maligna (a melanoma that consists of malignant cells but does not show invasive growth). Common in Australia, occurring on chronically sun damaged skin, lentigo maligna poses surgical challenges, as it predominantly occurs on the face. Dr Mar’s research involves using a hand-held confocal machine to map the extent of the lentigo maligna more accurately and improve patient outcomes.

Funds raised at the March Against Melanoma™ are also going towards Dr Mar’s research into why patients who develop one melanoma are at an increased risk of developing a second or third melanoma. Dr Mar is particularly interested in studying the mutational changes that occur in individual melanomas within the same patient and what this might be able to reveal about the genetics of melanoma risk, as well as early melanoma development.

Dr Mar has previously shown that melanomas with specific mutations are more likely to spread to lymph nodes and cause death, despite having otherwise favourable histological features (the microscopic make up of their cells).

Your support at the March Against Melanoma™ will assist Dr Mar in following a large cohort of patients with known mutations over time to learn whether the types of mutations present in the tumor determine how it will spread (i.e. via the lymph nodes or via the blood, and the different organs which might be affected).

This research has the potential to have substantial impact on patient outcomes.

Dr Mar’s work has been recognised and awarded throughout Australia. Last year she was presented the F&E Bauer Foundation Prize for her presentation at the 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian College of Dermatologists and she was also recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Australia and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group.

Often when we fundraise for a charity or organisation we never learn where our dollars have been used but each and every person who donated their time, hard work and support at our March Against Melanoma™ can be assured their money is being well-spent with Dr Mar’s valuable research.

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