President’s Message: June 2019

Valerie Guild
Founder & President
AIM at Melanoma Foundation

I’ve just returned from the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual conference. For the last few years, with melanoma oncologists and their trials a key part of the advances in immunotherapy and targeted therapy, ASCO has been a whirlwind. This year was no different, with announcements that first-line treatment with Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib) in patients with advanced melanoma who tested positive for the BRAF-mutation led to five-year disease control in about one-fifth of the patients and five-year survival in about one-third of the patients; and that the five-year analysis of Opdivo plus Yervoy found that, with a median follow-up of 43.1 months in all patients, at four years or longer, overall survival (OS) rates were stable at 57%. These are such exciting reports, especially when you remember that just ten years ago we had no successful treatments for melanoma and seemingly none on the horizon.

With successful treatments for cancer, however, come related challenges. One challenge is the inevitable side effects that come with any treatment. As many of you know, AIM is the global leader in educating melanoma patients, caregivers, family members, and health care professionals on the side effects of immunotherapies and targeted therapy.

A second challenge is a more positive one: When there are multiple treatments available, which one should you choose? Of course, melanoma patients will discuss this question with their physicians, but in the end, the patient must often gather information to make the choice. Such decisions can be confusing and daunting.

AIM is here to help.

Today we are announcing the launch of the online resource Options for Stage III Melanoma: Making the Decision That’s Right for You, a comprehensive guide to the multiple treatment options now available for Stage III patients. Intended to help patients and their families understand all aspects of each treatment option, it’s chock-full of information but written for non-physicians.

As part of the announcement, this month’s newsletter focuses on Stage III issues, patients, and options. We hope you find it valuable.

Valerie Guild
Founder & President
AIM at Melanoma Foundation

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