Ask an expert, see a photo tribute, raise awareness at ‘War on Skin Cancer’ event

The third annual “War on Skin Cancer” event will bring OHSU researchers, patients and community members together to educate and advance the science of skin cancer prevention and treatment on Saturday, May 20.

13235092_1017448831664144_5795627893784997778_oThe free event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Collaborative Life Sciences Building and will offer attendees the opportunity to participate in skin cancer research, hear directly from experts and local dermatologists, and receive tips for sun safety and cancer prevention. Featured events and activities include:

6th Annual NW Melanoma 5k Walk and Fun Run
AIM at Melanoma and SolSurvivors, local not-for-profits, will host a community walk to raise awareness of skin cancer: NW Melanoma 5k Walk and Fun Run. All net proceeds from the fun run will support the Melanoma Tissue Bank at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

Ask an expert at the Melanoma Scientific Symposium
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute physicians and expert guest speakers, including keynote speaker Jedd Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will provide an overview of the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of melanoma. There will be a special Q&A session tailored to patients and community members from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Photo gallery: Melanoma scars and storiesKGBThumbnail_1
OHSU dermatology resident Kelly Griffith-Bauer, M.D., will share moving photography she captured through her SCAR Project. Learn about the people behind the scars, their journey and what they’ve learned about themselves, this disease and their hopes for the future.

Research and information tables
OHSU scientists and physicians will be available to discuss their latest research efforts:

  • Pamela Cassidy, Ph.D., a research associate professor in OHSU’s Department of Dermatology, is studying genetic factors that affect risk for melanoma. Attendees can complete a family tree or “pedigree” to reveal family history and potential risk for melanoma; talk with the study team, receive feedback and potentially provide a saliva sample for future melanoma DNA research.
  • Tracy Petrie, Ph.D., is a computer scientist overseeing the development of the free Mole Mapper iOS phone application, created by cancer biologist Dan Webster, Ph.D., that lets you map, measure, and monitor moles over time. Attendees will be able to test the app’s newest feature.
  • Amanda Lund, Ph.D., a cancer immunologist is examining the environment of primary melanomas that develop in the skin to understand what features might predict response.
  • Research assistant, Naomi Mirza, and Steven Jacques, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Dermatology, will use optical fiber spectrometer measurements to quantify melanin and blood content in the skin at the event to inform the design and simulation of future technologies.
  • Robert Duvoisin, Ph.D., and Catherine Morgans, Ph.D., of OHSU’s Physiology and Pharmacology Department are studying MAR, a visual symptom caused by an immune response against a cancer, as a potential screening tool to help save lives. The team is currently recruiting patients to determine how widespread this response is and whether it can be used to test for melanoma recurrence.
  • Stephen Lloyd, Ph.D., professor, and Amanda McCullough, Ph.D., associate professor, in OHSU’s Molecular and Medical Genetics Department are studying a topical product to enhance the body’s natural DNA repair enzymes to help prevent cancer from forming.
  • Melissa Wong, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology, and her laboratory discovered a novel cell population that is found in the blood of cancer patients. The group is developing these cells as liquid biopsies to gather information about the tumor for early detection of cancer.
  • Prakash Ambady, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology, is leading a pilot study to evaluate the accuracy of identifying brain tumor progression in cancer patients that have received immunotherapy. This study will also investigate the effectiveness of immunotherapy on brain tumors, which will include patients with melanoma that has spread to the brain.
  • Neil Box, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, is studying how UV damage accumulates in people with different skin types to better estimate melanoma risk. Find out how your skin has been damaged by UV rays and what you can do to minimize the damage.

This event is a mainstay of the nationwide “War on Melanoma” campaign led by Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D. Leachman is director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Melanoma Research Program and chair of the OHSU Department of Dermatology.

Interested in getting involved? Join the Melanoma Community Registry, a volunteer research cohort developed to speed the research process by identifying people affected by this disease and those who are interested in learning or doing more.

Visit the event website for more information and to view a complete agenda.