May is Melanoma Awareness Month

NYU Langone Medical Center Skin Cancer Experts Are Available For Interviews

May 1, 2010 (New York, NY) -- May is Melanoma Awareness Month-calling attention to a disease that kills one American every hour. Melanoma however, if detected early, can often be successfully treated. Melanoma experts at NYU Langone Medical Center's Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology and the NYU Cancer Institute, are available to discuss melanoma, including the best ways to identify a suspicious mole, how to prevent and reduce the risk of the disease, and current treatments and therapies, including a potential melanoma vaccine.

Melanoma News: 

SethJ. Orlow, MD, PhD

Chairman, Ronald O. Perelman Departmentof Dermatology

Samuel Weinberg Professor of PediatricDermatology

Professor of Cell Biology and ofPediatrics

Director, NYU Center of Excellence onCancers of the Skin

Annual Free Skin Cancer Screening at NYULangone Medical Center on May 6, 2010

NYU LangoneMedical Center will host its annual free skin cancer screening on Thursday, May6, 2010 from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM. The screenings will take place at 550 FirstAvenue in the Charles C. Harris Skin and Cancer Pavilion on the first floor ofthe Medical Center. The free screening is a collaboration between NYU's RonaldO. Perelman Department of Dermatology and American Academy of Dermatology.  All are welcome to participate in thefree screening, especially those who have a changing mole, a history of melanoma,or who are over the age of 50 and do not have a regular dermatologist.  No appointment is necessary. Also,screening participants will be given the opportunity to volunteer for a newstudy designed to investigate the genetic factors that may predispose patientsto develop melanoma. Enrollment in the study includes ashort questionnaire, a photograph of their back to assess the number ofmoles and sun damage to their skin, and a sample of their saliva to collecttheir DNA.  Once enough study samples are collected the DNA of melanomapatients will be compared with the DNA of non-melanoma patients to identify anygene variations.

Centerof Excellence in Cancers of the Skin at NYU Langone Medical Center

Morethan 1000 new melanoma patients are seen annually at NYU Langone MedicalCenter. Under the auspices of the institution's Center of Excellence inCancers of the Skin, researchers have access to one of the nation's largestmelanoma databases.  Through theefforts of the Center's Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group(IMCG), melanoma tissue, blood specimens and accompanying clinicalinformation from over 1400 patients have been archived to date. The Centerof Excellence's goal is to advance the health of skincancer patients through a coordinated approach combining basic science,translational research and clinical care. Some 40 researchers from over adozen disciplines are investigating the genetic risk factors for developingmelanoma, prognostic blood and pathology markers, vaccine strategies and thedevelopment of therapeutic drugs to treat those with advanced disease.

DavidPolsky MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Ronald O. Perelman Department ofDermatology

Director, NYU Pigmented Lesion Clinic

Center of Excellence on Cancers of theSkin

NYU Langone Medical Center

25th Anniversary of the Development ofthe ABCDEs of Melanoma Detection Guide at NYU

2010 marks the25th-year anniversary of the development of the ABCDEs that provide criteriafor diagnosing skin cancer including melanoma.  Created by dermatologists at NYU Langone Medical Center, theABCDEs are a quick and simple guide for self examination of the skin in orderto detect moles that could be cancerous. The ABCDEs for melanoma detection are:

Ais for Asymmetry where one-half of the mole is unlike the other.

Bis for Border where the mole is irregular, scalloped or poorly defined.

Cis for Color which varies from one area to another or has different shades oftan, brown, black and sometimes white, red or blue.

Dis for Diameter of a mole when it is bigger than the size of a pencil eraser.

Eis for Evolving or changing in size, shape or color.

NinaBhardwaj, MD, PhD


Medicine, Pathology, andDermatology

Director, Tumor Vaccine

NYU Cancer Institute

AnnaPavlick, DO

Associate Professor

Medicine and Dermatology

Director, Melanoma Program

NYU Cancer Institute

MelanomaVaccine Trial for Advanced Melanoma Patients at NYU Langone Medical Center

Melanoma vaccines are designed to teachthe body's immune system to suppress the spread of cancer cells. In fact,patients who are diagnosed with melanoma that have lesions thicker than 4millimeters are at highest risk of the cancer metastasizing. A new clinicaltrial at NYU Langone Medical Center is using a cancer vaccine called NY-ESO-1in advanced melanoma patients, to prevent cancer from spreading to lymph nodesand nearby organs.  NY-ESO-1 is aprotein expressed in certain cancer cells, including melanomas. The vaccinemade up of this protein is injected into stage II and stage III melanomapatients in four doses three weeks apart. In the trial, the safety andantitumor response to the vaccine alone and combined with other immune-boostingagents is being investigated. The Phase I/II trial is in its earliest stagesand it is hoped the vaccine will significantly increase immune response andpatient survival.  

Media Inquiries:

Office of Communications

NYU Langone Medical Center

(212) 404-3555

Saturday, May 1, 2010