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UV Awareness Month: Preventing Melanoma

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:

July is UV Awareness Month but at the MRF, we strongly believe that this awareness should be year-round. Long-term exposure to the sun’s radiation increases one's risk of developing melanoma and using artificial UV lights, like those from a tanning bed, before the age of 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75%! Everyone is at risk regardless of age, race or gender. However, melanoma is preventable! Sun safe practices like wearing sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher, seeking shade, wearing UPF protective clothing and a hat and avoiding the peak hours of the day between 10AM and 2PM all reduce your risk.

Having sunscreen in your beach gear, pool bag, purse or backpack all make it easy to use year round and remember to reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating (which is a critical step). We are once again proud to partner with Neutrogena on limited-edition sunscreens, like the one pictured above, to help raise awareness about melanoma and encourage the daily practice of sun protection. Neutrogena has generously pledged up to $200,000 by donating $1 per bottle of sunscreen sold to support the MRF’s education and prevention work. These limited-edition sunscreens are available for purchase at Walgreens locations across the country.

Remember: nearly 90% of melanomas are preventable, defined in two ways. You can prevent melanoma from occurring, which is called primary prevention, by reducing or limiting exposure to UV radiation from the sun and artificial sources like tanning beds. Additionally, early detection of melanoma in its earliest stages through regular dermatological screenings aids in secondary prevention. Learn more about melanoma awareness and prevention through our #GetNaked campaign. You can support the MRF’s prevention and awareness messaging by visiting our online store and wearing your #GetNaked gear. I promise it will start a conversation and you can share why it is so important to check your own skin for changes and see a board-certified medical dermatologist once a year for a full body skin screening.





With gratitude,


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Donor Driven Research for Melanoma Prevention in Children

Parents with young children can teach healthy habits like wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, but as children grow older and more independent, parents may find it more difficult to closely monitor sun safe behaviors. Realizing this in their own family, MRF Board member Elise A. Barish and her husband Brian sought out ways to communicate the importance of melanoma prevention more effectively, and generously funded a Donor Directed Research Award in support of the YES-CAN! Program developed by Dr. Lori Crane and her colleague Dr. Nancy Asdigian. The YES-CAN! Program teaches high school students about the science of melanoma as well as communication tools like storytelling, effective health messaging and video production. These students then create video messages for their middle school peers, who are more likely to listen to messages from other teens and adolescents, rather than adults. To learn more about the project, watch the videos and hear how a donor directed grant from the MRF led to sun-safe changes in students, read Dr. Crane’s blog here.

Apply Today for Melanoma Research Funding

Melanoma researchers are encouraged to apply for multiple grant opportunities now available from the Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). These awards include a specific call for research proposals for rare melanoma subtypes, as well as an expanded definition of melanoma prevention. This grant cycle will award up to $40 million in research funding, and applications are now being accepted for the following awards with pre-applications due by September 14, 2022:

Focused Program Award - Rare Melanoma (NEW FY22 Funding Opportunity): up to 4 years, maximum funding of $2,000,000

Melanoma Academy Scholar Award: up to 3 years, maximum funding of $550,000

Mid-Career Accelerator Award: up to 3 years, maximum funding of $725,000

Team Science Award: up to 3 years, maximum funding of $1,000,000

Grant proposals (with the exception of the Focused Program Award) must address the Melanoma Research Program (MRP) Challenge Statement focused on melanoma prevention, which the MRP defines as, "improved detection and monitoring capabilities, as well as inhibiting the initiation of melanoma, the emergence from tumor dormancy, and the development of metastases.” Additional information can be found on the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program website, and stay tuned for an upcoming webinar with tips on submitting a successful application which will be shared in August.

In addition to researchers, melanoma patients and caregivers are also invited to participate in the MRP. Each year, melanoma advocates from across the country come together during the MRF’s Advocacy Days to share stories with lawmakers about the importance of funding melanoma research, particularly within the CDMRP. Your voices are critical to ensuring this important research continues. As funding for FY22 MRP grants is underway, the CDMRP is also in need of consumer reviewers to represent the patient experience on scientific panels. If interested in serving as a consumer reviewer, please contact Kim Watkins, Advocacy Officer, at kwatkins@melanoma.org by August 15.

Don't forget: The MRF is also accepting applications for Mid-Career Bridge Grants, a new grant type introduced this year. The purpose of the Mid-Career Bridge Grant is to support established melanoma researchers who have pre-existing R01s and have applied for an NIH R01 grant that was scored, but not funded. The Mid-Career Bridge Grants will be awarded twice more in 2022, with application deadlines of August 15 and December 15. More information can be found in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

 

This Month: Join the Ocular Melanoma Patient & Caregiver Annual Meeting

The Eyes on a Cure: Patient and Caregiver Symposium is almost here! Join ocular melanoma patients and caregivers from across the country on Friday, August 26 for our first in-person meeting since 2019, hosted in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. The symposium will include both in-person and virtual participation options. Reimbursement for one night at the Canopy by Hilton hotel is available for ten registrants who registered for in-person attendance by noon ET on Monday, August 1. Those who have registered prior to this announced incentive will be eligible, as well as anyone who signs up between now and August 1. The following day, we encourage the entire Philadelphia melanoma community to attend the Miles for Melanoma Philadelphia 5k on Saturday, August 27. Register for both events today and we can’t wait to see our friends next month in Philadelphia!


 

Miles for Melanoma is Back!

After a mid-summer break, the second half of the Miles for Melanoma season is here! We're looking forward to three great events in August to walk, run and raise life-saving melanoma research funds with our friends in Cleveland (August 7), the Twin Cities (August 20) and Philadelphia (August 27). All three events are already more than half way to their fundraising goal and are racing towards the finish line. Register or donate to your favorite team today, and visit the Miles for Melanoma homepage to see all of the upcoming run/walks and find one in a community near you!

Celebrate Heroes at an MRF Gala!

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the Denver Gala and New York Gala are now available!

At the 11th Annual Denver Gala on September 15, 2022, Neil Box, PhD, Visiting Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will be honored with the Humanitarian Award. Catherine Carretero, MD, of Lower Highlands Dermatology will be presented with the Excellence in Prevention Award and the Compassionate Care Award will be presented to Krista Treichel, RN, BSN, from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Center for Rare Melanomas. Randi Fodor and Lori Frisher will be honored with Courage Awards for the bravery that defined their melanoma journeys.

On October 20, 2022, the MRF is excited to welcome back Emmy Award-winning host, producer and author Andy Cohen as event emcee for the 21st Annual New York Gala. At the gala, the CURE OM Vision of Hope Award will be presented to Brian P. Marr, MD, John Espy Chair of Ocular Oncology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute. Michelle Henry, MD, FAAD, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College and Founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan will be honored with the Excellence in Prevention Award. The Influencer Award will be presented to Dustin Portela, DO (@208SkinDoc on TikTok), Treasure Valley Dermatology. Courage Awards will honor three inspirational individuals: Monique Mack is a melanoma survivor and advocate who was featured in Neutrogena's "In the Sun" documentary and is a 2022 spokesperson for the MRF's #GetNaked campaign. Summer Sanders is an Olympic Gold Medalist, American sports commentator, reporter, television personality, actress, cutaneous melanoma survivor and #GetNaked spokesperson. A Courage Award in memory of Dave Jones will be presented to his son, NASCAR driver and melanoma advocate Erik Jones.




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Upcoming Events





 

  • November 5, 2022: Miles for Melanoma Atlanta
  • November 13, 2022: Miles for Melanoma San Francisco
  • December 3, 2022: Miles for Melanoma Los Angeles
 
 




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