As we play a part in offering solutions for early detection of melanoma, we also keep a close eye on the research for treatments. There is a big part of the world that will eventually get a melanoma in their lives. So research on this topic is extremely important; what are the latest updates on melanoma research?
Selenium (found in broccoli) may fight melanoma
The first update directly sticks out. The mineral called Selenium, which is actually found in foods such as broccoli and garlic, might slow down the process of cancers like melanoma to spread.
“You can say that the stimulating molecules over-activate the immune system and cause it to collapse, and we are, of course, interested in blocking this mechanism. We have now shown that certain selenium compounds . . . effectively block the special molecule that plays a serious role for aggressive cancers,” says Søren Skov from University of Copenhagen, where the study was conducted.
Source: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Immunotherapy treatment shows promise
The results shown by immunotherapy for melanoma treatment continue to improve. At the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) 2014 International Congress in Zurich, results were reported where patients lived on for years, instead of the former survival rate which was expressed in months.
The longest-term data are available for ipilimumab (medication for immunotherapy), launched in the United States in 2011. Some patients treated with this drug are still alive 10 years later.
Outdoor work brings higher risk for melanoma
Twice as many men than women in age-group 45+ die of melanoma in Victoria (Australia), according to research by the Cancer Council of Victoria. The results come from various reasons, claim Craig Sinclair from the Coucil.
“We know men are less likely to use sunscreen, less likely to wear sun-protective clothing or seek shade,” Mr Sinclair said. “We also know men are less likely to seek advice from their doctor, which means the skin cancers are more likely to be detected at a later stage when treatment is more difficult.”
The fact that men dominate outdoor labour work also contributes to the problem. As they are outdoors and not using the right protection, the problem grows further. Melanoma prevention is, of course, the best treatment there is.
Source: Cancer Council of Victoria