The field of melanoma is advancing rapidly due to research.
Many of our laboratory investigators are studying the factors that control the interactions between tumor cells and the immune system. Other investigators are examining the genes and pathways that are activated in this disease, and the way that tumor cells can learn to evade therapies that target them. Many investigators are working together in teams to use their broad and multidisciplinary expertise to make novel insights, and to develop new therapeutic approaches for this disease.
We also have a robust melanoma clinical research program. Similar to our laboratory research efforts, we are conducting a variety of clinical trials to identify new, more effective treatments. Many of these trials involve new immune therapies, which stimulate the immune response against cancer. Other trials test the effects of new targeted therapies, which provide a personalized approach to cancer treatment. There are also many new investigations to determine the effects of combining different types of treatments together.
Importantly, our laboratory and clinical research efforts are well-integrated. For our laboratory researchers, this frequently results in unique and critical opportunities to study samples obtained from patients that volunteer to participate in research. Such translational research is critical to understanding why some treatments work well, and why others do not- and to developing new treatments that are more effective. This integration also allows for the efficient translation of laboratory research into new clinical trials for patients, and eventually to improved survival for patients battling this disease.
These research efforts span our close collaborative relationships with surgeons, dermatologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists in our clinic, as well as many basic and translational research departments both within and outside our institution.