Among all the types of cancer affecting Americans, none is increasing faster than melanoma, the diagnosis of which has been steadily growing at a rate of about 4 percent each year since 1973. It is the sixth most common malignancy among men and the seventh most common malignancy among women. But that onslaught is being countered by a slew of new therapies, six of which have been approved since 2011.
“Immunotherapy [for melanoma] has never been as exciting as it is right now,” said Dr. Rhoda Alani, who gave a Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers lecture recently in Lipsett Amphitheater. “New therapies and targets are being anticipated on almost a monthly basis.”
Alani is Herbert Mescon professor and chair in the department of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine and dermatologist-in-chief at Boston Medical Center. No
stranger to NIH, she was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research scholar on campus in 1988-1989.