News & Press

Melanoma Research Foundation Applauds New MD Anderson Cancer Center Program Addressing Melanoma


Melanoma, the Deadliest Skin Cancer, Included in MD Anderson Cancer Center Inaugural Moon Shots Program

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. Meeting the needs of people with cancer requires a collaborative and comprehensive approach. In recognition of this imperative, prominent cancer research and treatment center MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) today announced the launch of its Moon Shots Program, an initiative focused on taking bold, coordinated steps to reduce cancer diagnoses and improve patient outcomes through the collaboration of academia, researchers and industry.

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) commends MDACC for dedicating its experts and resources to advancing the state of prevention, detection and treatment of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The rate of melanoma incidences has been steadily on the rise. Every eight minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with melanoma and every hour, someone dies from the disease. However, discoveries over the last few years have poised the scientific community to have an impact not only on survival but also on the quality of life of those fighting melanoma. 

“Melanoma diagnoses are increasing at an epidemic rate and yet, people with melanoma do not have adequate treatment options,” said Timothy J. Turnham, executive director of the MRF. “We know from our work with MDACC, that their expertise will lend much needed resources to the fight against melanoma. We are encouraged that MD Anderson recognizes the growing burden of the disease, but also its scientific potential to discover new treatment options.”

The MRF has collaborated with MDACC on several initiatives to advance the melanoma research landscape to ensure that the growing number of people diagnosed with melanoma in the United States have effective treatment options. Through mutual goals of supporting melanoma research, the MRF and MDACC are partners in the fight to prevent and treat this disease. MDACC’s added resources and expertise will help reduce the burden of this cancer.

Through the Moon Shots Program, MDACC will apply a global approach to meeting the needs of the cancer patient community. The cancer researchers at MDACC recognize that the burden of this disease cannot be fully reduced without a smart, comprehensive approach that includes education, prevention and innovative research. The program will initially focus on eight cancers, including melanoma. According to the MDACC official press release, MDACC will dedicate funding and “other resources needed to work on ambitious and innovative projects prioritized for patient impact, ranging from basic and translational research to biomarker-driven novel clinical trials, to behavioral interventions and public policy initiatives.”

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About Melanoma
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 76,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2012, resulting in over 9,000 deaths. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old. 

The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.  Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails. 

About Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF’s website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at www.melanoma.org. 



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Lauren Smith
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