31 Mar 2011

Melanoma Trends

From Our Changing World, 9:06 pm on 31 March 2011

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in New Zealand, and melanoma - which New Zealand and Australia have unenviably high rates of - is the deadliest form of skin cancer. A recent Melanoma Summit in Wellington brought together Kiwi and Australian doctors and researchers to share information about the latest trends and treatments, including a new generation of drugs that target metabolic pathways in advanced melanomas.

Alison Ballance catches up with epidemiologists Mary Jane Sneyd and Brian Cox from the Hugh Adam Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Otago, and Bruce Armstrong from the University of Sydney, to find out how melanoma rates in the two countries are comparing, and whether skin cancer prevention messages are having any effect. She also talks with Richard Kefford from the University of Sydney - Westmead Hospital about several new drugs that have been going through clinicial trials which offer significant 'survival advantages' (but are not a cure) for metastatic melanomas, which until now have had no treatment options.