Groundbreaking Immunotherapy Drug Beats Skin Cancer


A ‘groundbreaking’ immunotherapy drug is helping patients overcome advanced non-melanoma skin cancer.

Cemiplimab is being used at Sir Charles Gaidner Hospital in Perth as part of an international trial. Oncologist Annette Lim, who runs the trial, says most patients have responded with encouraging results.

There were strict criteria for patients to enter the trial, but early results suggest the drug could be a game-changer for non-melanoma skin cancer sufferers. Continue reading “Groundbreaking Immunotherapy Drug Beats Skin Cancer”

Slowing Down Cancer with Immunotherapy Breakthrough


One of the greatest hurdles in our fight against cancer can be our own immune system, as it often self-sabotages the body’s attempts to fight invading tumours. Researchers from the University of Bonn have recently found a way to get around this immune response, using immunotherapy to achieve a significant delay in cancer growth, which thereby allows cancer sufferers to live longer as the progression of their disease is slowed down. Continue reading “Slowing Down Cancer with Immunotherapy Breakthrough”

Breakthrough Treatment for Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Merkel cell carcinoma

The breakthrough PD-L1 inhibitor Avelumab (Bavencio) has been approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for use in Japanese patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma. It is the first curative treatment for unresectable Merkel cell carcinoma and first anti-PD-L1 agent to be approved in Asia, after receiving its first global approval in the US in March and in Europe in September.

Continue reading “Breakthrough Treatment for Merkel Cell Carcinoma”

Physicians Opting for High-Cost Skin Cancer Treatments

melanoma treatment

Skin cancer doctors and dermatologists may be tempted to over-treat patients with minor skin cancers in order to make a financial profit for performing higher-cost procedures, according to a symposium focusing on controversies in dermatology.

A presentation entitled “Inconvenient Truths in Skin Cancer Care” was delivered at the 26th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress by Dr Tamar Nijsten from Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. The presentation highlighted concerns that dermatologists and skin physicians and might perform unnecessary treatments on minor skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, or prescribe high-cost drugs offering no advantage over generic-brand counterparts, because these approaches financially benefit the physicians.

Continue reading “Physicians Opting for High-Cost Skin Cancer Treatments”

Treating Actinic Keratosis In Primary Care

actinic keratosis

This month’s research article is a scholarly review from the British Journal of Dermatology. The topic of the article is actinic keratosis (AK), which is such a common condition – and $1 billion is spent in the US each year treating it. Continue reading “Treating Actinic Keratosis In Primary Care”

Treatment for BRAF-Mutated Advanced Melanoma


The outcomes of a five-year trial investigating the efficacy and safety of the combination of a BRAF inhibitor and a MEK inhibitor treatment for advanced melanoma were recently presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

Around 40 percent of patients with advanced melanoma have BRAF-mutations. While it has been known for some time that the combination of BRAF and a MEK inhibitor improves the clinical outcomes for patients with BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma compared with single-agent BRAF inhibition, this was the longest follow-up to date of any randomised trial investigating the treatment combination.

Continue reading “Treatment for BRAF-Mutated Advanced Melanoma”

Vitamin B3 May Help Prevent Melanoma

Prevent Melanoma

Vitamin B3 could potentially help prevent melanoma in people most at risk of developing the deadly skin cancer, according to a paper published in the Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine journal.

The paper’s author, Dr Gary Halliday, wrote that nicotinamide (or vitamin B3), was shown to reduce the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer in high-risk individuals in a clinical trial called ONTRAC.

The Professor of Dermatology at the University of Sydney believes it would be worthwhile to further determine whether the vitamin can help prevent melanoma in high-risk patients such as outdoor workers, people with fair skin, and those aged over 40.

Dr Halliday said that vitamin B3 ought to be investigated as an inexpensive way of preventing the disease in people who are most susceptible to developing it, since nicotinamide has been proven to enhance DNA repair and reduce inflammation caused by UV radiation.

While such a clinical trial would be welcomed, it is important to await the results of a study before recommending vitamin B3 as a preventative measure for melanoma, which is the fourth most common cancer in Australia.



(10 August 2017) Vitamin B may help prevent melanoma. SBS.

You might be interested in:

Skin Cancer Certificate Courses and Professional Diplomas : 14-15 October 2017, Brisbane

  • Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine | Enrol now
    Dermoscopy | Biopsy techniques | Surgical treatments | Topical treatments | Medicare billing
  • Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine | Enrol now
    Advanced dermoscopy | Curettage & Cautery | Diathermy | Lower leg grafts | Large ellipses
  • Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Surgery | Enrol now
    Rotation flaps | Advancement flaps | Full thickness grafts | Dog ear repairs | Anaesthetic blocks
  • Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Surgery | SOLD OUT
    Bilobed flaps | Reconstruction of lower eyelids, lip & ear defects | Anatomy | Perforator island flaps

Further dates and locations

Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine with Prof David Wilkinson

Skin Cancer Medicine

In the short video below, Professor Wilkinson speaks about the Skin Cancer Medicine course which has been purpose-built to help busy general practitioners acquire the fundamental skills they need to manage skin cancer with confidence and feel safe in their practice. Please take the opportunity to learn more about Australia’s leading professionally accredited skin cancer education program. Continue reading “Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine with Prof David Wilkinson”

New Research in Immunotherapy


In recent years, cancer treatment research has focused on immunotherapy – specifically, how to mobilise the immune system to attack cancer cells. The difficulty is identifying how cancer cells manage to disarm the T-cell fighters of the immune system in the first place, and then developing drugs to restore those damaged T-cells.

Patients with incurable cancers such as advanced melanoma have shown long-term responses to checkpoint inhibitor drugs, but they only work for around sixty percent of patients. This means cancer cells still have other ways of disabling the body’s immune system that are not remedied through the use of checkpoint inhibitors.

Continue reading “New Research in Immunotherapy”

Survey on the Use of Teledermoscopy

sun safe

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and University of Queensland (UQ) are currently undertaking research examining mobile teledermoscopy. The researchers are interested in your opinions about imaging devices and systems used for photographing potential skin cancers, in particular, pigmented lesions that might be suspicious of melanoma. Mobile teledermoscopy could be used for referral, documentation, telediagnosis, discussing the lesion with colleagues, or to obtain a second opinion.

Continue reading “Survey on the Use of Teledermoscopy”