Turning the Tables: How Some Melanomas Exploit the Immune Response for Their Own Survival

Like a fugitive from justice, cancer cells stake their survival on their ability to remain inconspicuous. In many cases, however, they are decked out in molecules – called tumor-associated antigens and neoantigens – that shout “cancer!” to the immune system and prompt a potent antitumor response. But tumor cells have other means of dodging an … Read more

Researchers Use CRISPR To Build A Human Melanoma Model From Scratch

This post was adapted from a Broad Institute post by Allessandra DiCorato. Over the last two decades, researchers have discovered thousands of genetic mutations in cancer. But understanding how they affect the growth and spread of tumors in the body remains challenging because each patient’s tumor can have many different mutations.  Now, scientists have used … Read more

Mucosal Melanoma: What You Need to Know

While skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States, melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, accounting for less than 1 percent of skin cancer. Unlike most melanomas appearing on visible areas on the skin, mucosal melanoma occurs on the mucus membranes, or moist surfaces, of … Read more

Study Identifies Genes That Help Drive Growth in Melanoma Subtypes

Favoritism or impartiality? Do the four genomic subtypes of melanoma have a bias toward certain mutated genes and gene pathways, or do they welcome all mutations equally? Answering that question has been especially difficult because of cutaneous melanoma’s high mutation rate — the profusion of misspelled, severed, out-of-place, missing-in-action, or overabundant genes found in melanoma … Read more

For Scientist-Turned-Melanoma Patient, Immunotherapy Treatment is Precisely Right

Jen Mancuso’s analytical mind has served her well during her career as a biochemist and information technology expert. Thinking like a diagnostician has also allowed her to remain upbeat while facing the greatest challenge of her life: stage IV melanoma. A wife and mother of two pre-teen daughters, Mancusco, 41, says she appreciates the intricacies … Read more

Vaccine Implants Aim to Train Immune Response Against Melanoma

Of the many ways scientists are trying to harness the body’s immune system to fight cancer, here is one of the most innovative: an approach that involves implanting small, biodegradable, sponge-like disks under the skin to attract key immune cells in the bloodstream—and “train” them to dispatch front-line defender cells (T cells) on a cancer … Read more