|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
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Michigan Oncology Journal Summer 2000
Advancements in Clinical and Basic Science Research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Contents:From the Editor
EditorLaurence H. Baker, D.O.
Deputy Director and
Director for Clinical Research
U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
Assistant EditorMaria McKinney White
Marketing and Public Relations
From the EditorMelanoma has become the number one diagnosis of patients referred to the University of Michigan Cancer Center. Last year, more than 900 new patients were seen in our Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic. While the clinic's leader will protest, the remarkable increase in referrals is not just the increasing frequency of this disease, but also the outstanding clinical and organizational skills of Dr. Timothy Johnson. In the first article of this issue, Dr. Johnson describes in some detail how this clinic works and gives us his insight as to why it works. I already gave you my insight. While surgery is often the mainstay of curative treatment for the vast majority of patients, melanoma is still frightening at times because of its unpredictable nature and its resistance to conventional therapies.
Our Center, like many others, has increasingly studied the immunobiology of melanoma, and perhaps as importantly, newer immunotherapeutic approaches including the administration of cytokines such as interferons or interleukin-2; adoptive transfer of autologous lymphocytes; and vaccination strategies against antigens associated with melanoma. Drs. Bruce Redman and Vernon Sondak describe the basis of these approaches and briefly summarize the ongoing clinical trials in each of these areas of immunotherapy. This article demonstrates the exceedingly close relationship of the clinical immunology program directed by Drs. Redman and James Mulé, along with the cutaneous oncology program of Drs. Johnson and Degluz. Dr. Alan Yahanda outlines the major surgical change in the management of melanoma - the use of sentinel node mapping for prognosis. Involvement of regional lymph nodes still is a very important prognostic feature, determining in large part who needs adjunctive therapy, as well as who needs surgical dissection. Peter Trask, Ph.D., Amber Paterson, Ph.D., and Michelle Riba, M.D., describe the efforts of the Psycho-Oncology program with the Melanoma Clinic in studying the distress that is often associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment. It is clear to our clinicians and their patients that early recognition of this distress and determining the best intervention strategy goes a long way toward improving the quality of care.
Laurence H. Baker, D.O.
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