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


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”

More Queenslanders Die From Thin Melanomas Than From Thick Melanomas


More Queenslanders die from thin melanomas than from thick melanomas, a study has shown. The findings challenge a widely held belief that most melanoma deaths result from thick lesions.

The incidence of melanoma has been rising steadily in fair-skinned populations around the world, with most of the increase owing to a greater number of lesions being diagnosed. There is a widespread perception that most deaths from melanoma are a result of thick lesions – that is, tumours bigger than four millimetres. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this assumption. Australian researchers subsequently undertook a study using data from Queensland, which has the highest rate of melanoma in the world.

Continue reading “More Queenslanders Die From Thin Melanomas Than From Thick Melanomas”

Case discussion: How would you treat this patient? [3 July]

Case discussion_Colin

This week we have a straight forward case discussion from Dr Colin Armstrong. Everyone will likely know this diagnosis but please list the specific criteria that confirm the diagnosis dermoscopically.

Continue reading “Case discussion: How would you treat this patient? [3 July]”

Worldwide Incidence of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma

malignant melanoma

Because the incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) was reported to increase with increasing terrestrial UVR (290–400 nm) doses in the US back in 1975 and a recent publication showed no association exists with UVR exposure at all, we set out to fully elucidate the role of UVR in CMM. To achieve this goal, we analyzed the CMM incidences over latitude and estimated the average personal UVR dose in the US and numerous countries (> 50) on 5 continents around the world. Using data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2005, we performed worldwide analysis of CMM over UVR dose by sex, age group (0–14, 15–29, 30–49, 50–69, 70–85+) and Fitzpatrick skin types I-VI. Surprisingly, increasing UVR doses, which represent erythemally-weighted doses comprised primarily of UVB (290–315 nm) radiation, did not significantly correlate with increasing CMM incidence for people with any skin type anywhere in the world. Paradoxically, we found significant correlations between increasing CMM and decreasing UVB dose in Europeans with skin types I-IV.

Continue reading “Worldwide Incidence of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma”

The Risks and Benefits of Sun Exposure

sun exposure

Public health authorities in the United States are recommending that men, women and children reduce their exposure to sunlight, based on concerns that sun exposure will promote skin cancer. On the other hand, data show that increasing numbers of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiencies and serious health problems caused by insufficient sun exposure.

Continue reading “The Risks and Benefits of Sun Exposure”