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MRF Announces Commitment to International Melanoma Congress

For Immediate Release: September 29, 2009


Contact:         Deborah J. Danuser

                        Jones Public Affairs

                        (202) 742-5256

                        [email protected]

Melanoma Research Foundation Announces

Commitment to International Melanoma Congress


HILLSBOROUGH, N.J.—The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) announced today its continued sponsorship of the Society for Melanoma Research’s (SMR) International Melanoma Congress.  The annual medical meeting brings together world-renowned melanoma researchers and clinicians to discuss the latest research into this deadly form of skin cancer and explore ways these findings can be translate into effective treatments.  The Sixth International Melanoma Congress will be held on November 1–4 in Boston. 


“Our core mission is to support the research that will unlock the mysteries of this disease and lead us to a cure,” said Tim Turnham, executive director of the MRF.  “We are proud to continue our partnership with the Society for Melanoma Research and its members to further the progress being made against the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide.”


Each year, the MRF provides emerging and established scientific investigators with highly sought-after grants to explore new avenues in melanoma biology and treatments.  In addition, the MRF provides grants for other needs in the scientific community, such as medical meetings. 


In its early stages, melanoma can be successfully removed and monitored by regular skin screenings.  However, the disease is deadly in its most advanced stages as few treatment options exist.  The median life expectancy for patients with advanced melanoma is less than one year and existing therapies have not improved survival in more than a decade.


Approximately seven years ago, the research community began to better understand the underlying genetic malfunctions that occur in cells, causing melanoma.  Today, researchers are correlating those discoveries to therapies that may have a meaningful impact on the survival of patients.  The MRF believes the research community is poised to make unprecedented strides in the understanding, prevention and treatment of melanoma, but more research is needed to understand the unique biology of the many different types of melanoma.


Fewer scientists are conducting research into melanoma, in part due to the fact melanoma research is woefully underfunded.  The MRF is working to bridge the gap to ensure patients of tomorrow have the help and hope they deserve. 


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About Melanoma

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, 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.  In fact, with a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 69,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2009, resulting in 8,650 deaths or one person every hour.  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. 


About the Society for Melanoma Research

The Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) is an all-volunteer group of scientists working to find the mechanisms responsible for melanoma and, consequently, new therapies for this cancer. SMR contributes to advances in melanoma research by bringing together researchers to unite the scientific community and hasten the discovery of preventative and curative therapies. More information about SMR is available at www.societymelanomaresearch.org and additional information about the meeting can be found at www.melanomacongress09.com.


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 Web site is the premier source for melanoma information seekers.  More information is available at www.melanoma.org.