The Iron Dog Skin Cancer Awareness Race team is excited to partner with the University of Virginia Cancer Research Department to help with funding their important melanoma research programs. With plans to continue to explore all options to assist in funding, we hope to also advance awareness of the risk of ignoring over-exposure to the sun and the need to protect your skin from harmful ultra-violet rays whether exposure came through being outdoors or using a tanning bed. It could save your life!
More than a decade ago, Dr. Craig Slingluff and fellow scientists discovered a cancer vaccine for patients with advanced melanoma. Designed to target an immune response by stimulating T cells to kill cancer cells, early trials proved promising.
“For patients with advanced melanoma who are not candidates for standard therapies (surgery, radiation, biological therapy or chemotherapy), our clinical trials offer an option,” Dr. Slingluff says. “Today we are interested in newer targeted therapy agents and immune modulators.”
Since their initial discovery, Dr. Slingluff and his team believe that defeating melanoma may mean combining an immune-boosting vaccine with targeted therapeutic agents or other vaccines.
“There’s no denying the challenges we still face as we strive to find ways to harness the human immune system to destroy cancer,” Dr. Slingluff says. “But there’s also no denying the tremendous progress we have made and will continue to make.”