Sep 02, 2021

New Insights about Melanocytes Could Lead to More Targeted Melanoma Treatments

Huntsman Cancer Institute melanoma researchers have generated the first “atlas” of where human melanocytes are located in the body. In analyzing the atlas data, the team discovered different types of melanocytes, including what looks to be the cell of origin for an understudied subtype called acral melanoma, which mostly affects people of color.

Jul 19, 2021

Revolutionary Immunotherapy and Ben & Jerry’s: A Melanoma Patient’s Story

Max Rosett faced melanoma as a young adult and a decade later, he is cancer free. He describes how he felt after being diagnosed, the outstanding treatment he received at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the revolutionary immunotherapy clinical trials that helped save his life.

May 11, 2021

New Research Outlines a Critical Driver in an Immune Cell’s Defense against Melanoma

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute have found critical new insights into how cells defend against melanoma. In a report published in Nature Communications, the team describes how an enzyme called nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, or NAMPT, initiates antitumor activity. The researchers suggest that new therapies strengthening this pathway in immune cells could be the foundation for more effective treatments against melanoma.

Apr 08, 2021

Huntsman Cancer Institute Research Shows Melanoma Incidence and Mortality Higher in Utah Compared to Rest of U.S.

Utah had more melanoma deaths than any other state from 1975 to 2013, says a letter published today by HCI researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine. In contrast to the rest of the United States, melanoma mortality in Utah increased by 0.8% per year over that period. The researchers say this data emphasizes the need to stay vigilant about preventing melanoma.

Apr 01, 2021

Banding Together to Advance Scientific Progress

When cancer researchers from different disciplines work together, they gain new insights into how cancer begins and how it can be treated. HCI is committed to providing an atmosphere where ideas can be created, cultivated, and shared. Here are some examples of how HCI scientists are collaborating to accelerate progress in cancer research.

Apr 01, 2021

Finding a Way to Celebrate during a Time with No Visitors

Until the coronavirus pandemic forced hospitals to establish a zero-visitor policy, George Morales accompanied his wife, Rikki, to all her cancer treatments. Though he couldn’t come with her anymore, George was determined to be there when Rikki finished her last chemo treatment. With help from the HCI infusion team, he found a safe way to attend and celebrate with her.

Jan 13, 2021

Talks with Docs: Robert Judson-Torres, Melanoma Researcher

“Any human disease is so complicated that in order to really have the best care for patients, as well as sort of pushing the envelope on research, you need experts in all of it,” says melanoma researcher Robert Judson-Torres, PhD. In this Talks with Docs video, he explains why he wanted to become a cancer researcher, what he hopes his melanoma research will accomplish, and why Indiana Jones is his inspiration.

Dec 03, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Identify Promising Drug Combination for Melanoma

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have identified a potential drug combination to treat uveal melanoma, a type of eye cancer. Lead author Amanda Truong, trainee in the McMahon Lab at HCI, explains uveal melanoma patients frequently have changes in genes called GNAQ and GNA11, which are key targets for these drugs. This study was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Dec 01, 2020

Be Sun Safe on the Slopes to Prevent Skin Cancer

With high mountain peaks and acres of powdery snow, Utah is known for its great skiing. But Utahns who spend lots of time outdoors at high elevations are at increased risk for sun damage, which can lead to skin cancer. Here's how to protect your skin while you're out earning your turns.

Nov 27, 2020

Fighting Melanoma and Other Cancers Using Immunotherapy

For Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, it was the promise of immunotherapy—that is, harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer—that inspired her to get into cancer research. Training under one of the pioneers of immunotherapy, she witnessed amazing survival stories of patients. The project Hu-Lieskovan proposed for the 5 For The Fight grant is to tackle the immune-related adverse events when adding different immunotherapies.

Nov 13, 2020

Fighting a Rare and Understudied Melanoma Subtype

Robert Judson-Torres has always been fascinated by science. He chose to focus on cancer research, and specifically melanoma, as a way to study how cells work in our body and have his work be meaningful and life changing. Due to the economic effects of COVID-19, many cancer laboratories have had to enact hiring freezes. So receiving the 5 For The Fight Fellowship allows Judson-Torres to hire the necessary team to further high-risk, high-reward projects investigating rare subtypes of melanoma.

Nov 12, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researcher Receives National Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award

Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, PhD, MD, physician scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah, has received the National Cancer Institute 2020 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding clinical investigators at NCI-designated Cancer Centers who participate extensively in NCI-funded clinical trials, and whose leadership and activities promote a successful culture of collaborative clinical research.

Sep 29, 2020

5 For The Fight Announces Inaugural Class of Cancer Research Fellows at Huntsman Cancer Institute

5 For The Fight, a global movement inviting everyone to give $5 for the fight against cancer, today announced the inaugural recipients of the 5 For The Fight Cancer Research Fellowship in partnership with Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

Aug 28, 2020

One Family's Investment in HCI's Mission

In 2015, Rich and Vicki Linton lost their beloved daughter-in-law, Alisa, after a prolonged battle with an aggressive form of melanoma. The entire Linton family is committed to help HCI eradicate cancer from the face of the earth. They are passionate about funding research so that one day, no one else will be lost to this horrible disease.

Jul 31, 2020

I Can Answer That: Yelena Wu on Sun Safety

What does it mean to be sun safe? Do tanning beds cause cancer? What is ultraviolet radiation? Can people with any skin type get a sun burn? Can kids wear sunscreen? Yelena Wu, PhD, can answer that. She studies sun safety behaviors in Utah families. In this video she answers frequently asked question about sun safety and why it's important in preventing skin cancer.

Jul 29, 2020

Researchers Outline Need for Further Evaluation of Gene Expression Profiling in Melanoma Patients

A consensus statement published today in JAMA Dermatology by an international group of melanoma researchers evaluates the use of prognostic genetic expression profile (GEP) testing to guide clinical management of patients with melanoma. The group cautioned against routine use of currently available GEP tests for patients with cutaneous melanoma.

Jul 20, 2020

What You Need to Know about Eye Cancer and Eyelid Cancer

Cancers that happen in and around the eye are very rare. The most common type of eye cancer that happens in adults is ocular melanoma, sometimes known as intraocular melanoma. This is when melanoma forms inside the eye or just around the eyelid.

Jun 19, 2020

Hope for the Future a Decade after Melanoma

If you’d asked him more than a decade ago, Doug never would have guessed he’d make it into his fifties, preparing to welcome his seventh grandchild into the world. In 2006, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare, extremely deadly type of cancer: desmoplastic melanoma, a skin cancer that “doesn’t play fair” because it lacks pigment and is difficult to diagnose.

May 28, 2020

When Should I Talk to a Doctor about Skin Changes?

Skin changes as you age. Freckles, wrinkles, sun spots, and moles can look different over time. So how do you know when to see a doctor?

May 26, 2020

Melanoma Research Innovations

At Huntsman Cancer Institute, we're committed to delivering a cancer-free frontier. Our cancer researchers are on the cutting-edge of discovery and innovation, and we're excited by what these advancements mean for melanoma prevention and treatment. Together, we're building the future we want.

Apr 07, 2020

What Clothing Is Best for Sun Protection?

Summer offers plenty of chances to get sun damage, especially when you’re outdoors all day. Whether you’re at the pool or beach, on a river trip, in the mountains, or at the amusement park, you’re risking skin damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate your skin. And UV damage may lead to skin cancer.

Mar 26, 2020

Realistic Prosthetics Take Fear Out of Facial Cancer Surgeries

There are times surgeons have to remove part of the face, such as a nose or an ear, in order to save a life. These patients are referred to HCI anaplastologist Paul Tanner, who makes facial prostheses — hand-sculpted and hand-painted artificial parts of the face. HCI is one of the few hospitals in the country that has an anaplastologist and prosthesis lab onsite, making it easy for patients and their care team to meet with Tanner.

Mar 01, 2020

Innovaciones en el melanoma: la prevención comienza en la juventud

Utah has the highest rate of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—in the United States. Factors such as high altitude and residents who enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking contribute to the risk. At Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), our commitment to addressing this major medical challenge spans our mission—from research and care to education.

Mar 01, 2020

Innovations in Melanoma: Prevention Starts in Youth

Utah has the highest rate of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—in the United States. Factors such as high altitude and residents who enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking contribute to the risk. At Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), our commitment to addressing this major medical challenge spans our mission—from research and care to education.

Feb 07, 2020

HCI Researcher Receives Award to Study Skin Cancer Prevention Behaviors in Children and Families

Yelena Wu, PhD, has been awarded a multi-year Research Scholar Grant totaling nearly $800,000. This award, given by the American Cancer Society, will expand Dr. Wu’s work to rigorously test new behavioral interventions to promote implementation of skin cancer prevention behaviors among Utah children and their parents.

Jan 30, 2020

Immunotherapy Leads the Way for Melanoma Treatment

Only a few months after she retired in October 2018, Lynn Walker knew something was wrong with her health. Without any prior history of skin cancers, she learned that she had an advanced form of melanoma that has spread all over her body. Walker worried about the possibility of going through chemotherapy and not surviving the effects of cancer treatment, let alone melanoma. But she soon learned of another approach that held promise for her type of cancer: immunotherapy.

Jan 16, 2020

Talks with Docs: Sheri Holmen, Cancer Researcher

Sheri Holmen, PhD, wished to make an impact on the lives of people experiencing cancer and found that becoming a researcher would allow her that and more. When she's not in her lab, Dr. Holmen will often spend time with her children in their many athletic activities, which led her to become nationally certified to officiate swim competitions. Learn this and more in this edition of Talks with Docs.

Nov 25, 2019

Holmen Receives Prestigious Melanoma Research Award

The Society for Melanoma Research recently presented Sheri Holmen, PhD, with the prestigious Estela Medrano Memorial Award. Holmen is a melanoma researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute and a professor of surgery at the University of Utah. This award was created in honor of the late Estela Medrano, a leader in melanoma research. The Estela Medrano Award is given annually to a woman who has made major contributions in the fight against melanoma.

Aug 01, 2019

BRIGHT Study Finds Genetic Testing Motivates Behavior Changes in Families at Risk for Melanoma

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the most severe type of skin cancer. Utah has a particularly high melanoma rate. A new study led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute collaborators at Northwestern University and Oregon Health and Science University investigated whether genetic testing would motivate people at risk of developing melanoma to alter their behavior in order to reduce their risk.

Jul 16, 2019

Talks with Docs: Yelena Wu, Melanoma Researcher

Dr. Wu is a pediatric and clinical child psychologist, assistant professor of dermatology, and a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Dr. Wu is interested in improving adherence to medical recommendations among adolescents and young adults with cancer and children who are at elevated risk for melanoma.

Jul 03, 2019

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Discover Melanoma Can Spread without Tumor Growth

Utah has the highest rate of melanoma in the United States. Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that spreads quickly. Allie Grossmann, MD, PhD, focuses on identifying better ways to treat this lethal cancer. In a study recently published by the journal Cancer Research, Grossmann details one of the factors behind how and why melanoma metastasizes so quickly.

May 24, 2019

Holding on to Hope

When Davis Moore found out he had metastatic melanoma, he says the fear he felt was debilitating. “I would wake up every morning and remember I had cancer. It felt like a physical punch in my stomach.” He eventually found a way to help him get past the fear: hope.

Feb 22, 2019

How to Pick the Best Sunscreen

Utah is a beautiful state with so many fun outdoor activities. But we are more at risk for skin cancer because of our outdoor lifestyle. Sunscreen is essential to your skin protection strategy but with so many options, how do you pick the right one?

Jan 11, 2019

Be Sun Safe…Even When It’s Snowing

Did you know you need to practice sun safety year-round? You may think about sun safety only during the summer, when temperatures are high. But temperature doesn’t affect the strength of the sun. Radiation from the sun is what causes skin damage. Rays from the sun can damage your skin any time of year.

Aug 30, 2018

Myths and Facts about Sun Safety

Everyone is at risk for skin cancer, no matter your skin color or type. Know the myths and facts about sun safety and protect your skin from the sun at every age.

Apr 26, 2018

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Robert Andtbacka, MD, CM

HCI established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Robert Andtbacka, MD, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award and will also lead the group for the coming year.

Jul 28, 2017

5 Ways to Protect Your Skin beyond Sunscreen

Sunscreen keeps you safe from harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays, but it works even better when paired with extra sun safety precautions.

Jul 07, 2017

Cancer Summit Highlights Advances in Immunotherapy

Our bodies fight cancer more than we really know, says Dr. Kenneth Grossmann. And, he adds, advances in medicine can help the immune system fight cancer even better.

May 24, 2017

For Gold Medalist Summer Sanders, Knowledge is Power

Growing up, Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders spent every waking hour playing and training outside in the water—usually without sunscreen. Then, in 2014, she was diagnosed with melanoma. No one can say for sure what caused Sanders’ melanoma, but she thinks her frequent exposure to the sun was a contributing factor.

Oct 30, 2015

Twice a Survivor

Mary Chamberlain had completed treatment for one type of cancer, melanoma, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She talks about her journey with both cancers, including how she got through chemotherapy when she thought her body couldn’t take it anymore.

Feb 24, 2015

Is Being Tan Worth Dying For? Perspectives on Beauty from a Melanoma Survivor

I used to be one of the girls who believed tan skin is more beautiful. I used tanning beds. I laid out at the pool without reapplying sunscreen.