The Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund is committed to supporting research and education into the prevention, causes and cure of melanoma. Further to this, the charity is delighted to announce a recent donation £40,000 to melanoma research, supporting the brilliant work of The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in order for them to complete vital research.
Please find the following details of where this money will be spent:
The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation
Despite the many advances in modern medicine, 6 people in the UK die from melanoma every day. Melanoma affects people of all ages, but is particularly common among young people. The number of people affected is still increasing, despite common knowledge about the adverse effects of sunbathing and sun beds.
If the melanoma is diagnosed and removed early, the chance of long-term survival is very good. However, if the melanoma returns and has spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body, the long-term survival chance drops to less than 10%. There are no current tests that can predict if a melanoma is likely to return and spread.
Scientists at the Blond McIndoe Research Foundation have a wealth of experience in skin biology. Together with the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund, we are undertaking a research project to develop a blood test that can indicate that the melanoma is returning. To achieve this, we are working together with clinicians at the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, and scientists at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
By supporting our research the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund is allowing us to develop a blood test that can save melanoma patients’ lives and for that we thank everyone who has helped make this possible.
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Dr James Larkin is a Consultant Medical Oncologist based at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London. He specialises in the treatment of skin cancer, predominantly advanced melanoma, the most aggressive form of the disease.
Dr Larkin and his team at The Royal Marsden have been responsible for some of the biggest national breakthroughs in the treatment of advanced melanoma in the last 30 years. In particular two drugs Dr Larkin helped pioneer, vemurafenib and ipilimumab, have heralded a new age in skin cancer treatment and seen a significant improvement in the survival outcomes for patients with advanced melanoma.
Dr Larkin comments: “Advanced melanoma is a devastating disease and new treatments are needed. The results of the vemurafenib and ipilimumab trials were a significant breakthrough in the treatment of the disease and we were delighted with NICE’s decision to approve their use in this country.
The impact on patients has been significant, with many living for longer with a disease, and with an improvement in their quality of life, which previously would have been very difficult to treat.”
Recent trials using these drugs in combination with other drugs have also revealed impressive results and show the importance in funding research into the treatment of advanced melanoma.
Not only does James’ research help Royal Marsden patients who are on the trials, the drugs he has helped pioneer are now being used to treat patients right across the country. By supporting his research the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund is directly contributing to work that is paving the way to finding a cure for advanced melanoma.
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