Melanoma Research Foundation
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MRF Breakthrough Consortium Meeting Facilitates Multi-Center Research Collaborations


Kyleigh LiPira, MRF CEO pictured with Resident/Fellow Grant recipient Urvashi Joshi, MD, University of Pittsburgh

Recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting was held convening renowned oncology professionals, clinicians/researchers, industry partners and advocacy organizations like the MRF. In conjunction with ASCO, we held the biannual MRF Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC) meeting with the top melanoma researchers to discuss and report out on their research and clinical trials to identify potential collaborations ranging from mucosal melanoma research to the newly FDA approved TIL therapy. 

At ASCO, the latest in melanoma research was presented across several oral/poster sessions as well as during the plenary session. Furthermore, the promising results of many melanoma clinical trials were presented which may lead to practice changing advances.

Click below to review our ASCO blog summary to learn more about key findings and updates presented during this impactful annual meeting.

In addition to reviewing the ASCO blog summary, we invite you to watch our animations about clinical trials and TIL therapy. For a personalized experience finding a clinical trial that is right for you, visit our clinical trial finder.

Kyleigh's Updated Signature 2

Kyleigh M. LiPira, MBA


Donor Corner - In Recognition of Cancer Immunotherapy Month

Meet Giulia Newton

Giulia Newton

Giulia Newton's journey with metastatic desmoplastic melanoma underscores the transformative impact of immunotherapy. After years of enjoying an active life and managing skin health, Giulia's diagnosis at age 60 with a large lung mass was a profound shock. With a high tumor mutational burden and a PDL-1 biomarker of 95%, Giulia's oncologist recommended Ipilimumab and Nivolumab infusions. Following successful treatment and a complex surgical procedure, Giulia embarked on a challenging but hopeful recovery, supported by pulmonary rehabilitation. Her participation in advocacy and research initiatives, including MRF advocacy days and grant reviewing, reflects her commitment to advancing melanoma care. Giulia's story highlights the pivotal role of immunotherapy in her journey and her dedication to giving back to the community that supported her through this journey. Click below to read her full melanoma journey. 

During our Together against Melanoma: Patient & Caregiver Symposium in collaboration with the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Kelly Gardner, NP held a session called “Management of Toxicity of Immunotherapy” where she discussed the side effects that immunotherapy has on melanoma patients. Click below to watch the full segment.

Lastly, we held an Ask the Expert virtual webinar earlier this year featuring Dr. Harriett Kluger, Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Medicine in Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and melanoma survivor and patient advocate Jennifer Ficko as they discussed the current state and evolution of immunotherapy treatments in melanoma. Click below to view this insightful recording.

August 2024 Ask the Expert (1)

Education Round-Up

Upcoming Ask the Expert Webinar Series 

Join us August 8 for our next Ask the Expert Webinar titled “Surgical Management of Melanoma” where we will have a discussion on how Surgery plays a key role in the melanoma treatment landscape featuring melanoma experts Drs. Sanjay Bagaria, James Jakub and Leila Tolaymat with Mayo Clinic in Florida. Click below to register today!

On June 25, we had an informative discussion on Cannabis and Cancer featuring Dr. Leah Sera, Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and Program Director for the Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST) program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. The webinar aimed at breaking through the stigma surrounding cannabis, with a special focus on its application in melanoma care and provided an in-depth exploration of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) the differences between CBD and THC, and the importance of accessing reliable information about cannabis online. Additionally, the webinar offered guidance on how melanoma patients can confidently approach the topic of medical cannabis with their healthcare team. Click below to view the recording of the webinar.

Together Against Melanoma: Patient & Caregiver Symposium Recap

On June 8, we held the Together Against Melanoma: Patient & Caregiver Symposium in partnership with the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center located in Washington, DC. The virtual symposium covered topics such as Melanoma Risk Factors, Addiction to Indoor Tanning, Evolving Role of Head and Neck Surgery in Melanoma, Moh’s Surgery, Systemic Therapy for Metastatic Melanoma, Advances in Rx for High-Risk Melanoma and Uveal Melanoma, Management of Toxicity of Immunotherapy, Current Research, Cellular Therapy and Future Directions. Recordings from previous patient symposia (including our May Symposia with Fred Hutch and UNC) are available to view on the MRF YouTube page.

Cancer Care Teleconference 

On May 14, MRF CEO, Kyleigh LiPira, MBA was a panelist for the Cancer Care Teleconference where over 200 participants in the US, UK and Canada joined on a webinar called “Emerging Treatment for Metastatic Melanoma. Topics ranged from metastatic melanoma diagnosis and staging to targeted therapy and the role of precision medicine in addition to tips for caring for your skin and preventing further melanomas and skin cancers. Click below to watch the full video.

Honoring Brain and Spine Metastasis this Month

Advocacy (2)

Although brain and spine metastases can occur in almost any type of cancer, in patients with advanced melanoma, the incidence of brain metastases is ~40%.  New therapies offer hope, but more research and clinical trials are needed.  This June, we joined other advocacy organizations in helping to raise awareness of brain and spine metastasis by using the hashtag #MetsGetsAwareness on social media and using the purple, gray, and white ribbon. Visit to learn more, click on the link below for an informational webinar, or visit for several publications stemming from the MRF Melanoma Brain Metastases Summits.

Both Galas

Unforgettable Nights: Save the Date for our Galas!

Join us for two extraordinary events: the 13th Annual Denver Gala on Thursday, September 19, and the 23rd Annual New York Gala on Thursday, October 24. These galas transcend mere gatherings—they are moments of unity where we celebrate our mission and raise crucial funds for melanoma research. Enjoy an evening filled with unforgettable experiences, featuring a cocktail reception, live entertainment, open bar, gourmet dinner and silent and live auctions. Cap off the night with an inspiring awards ceremony honoring those who are driving progress in the fight against melanoma. Don't miss these transformative events—save the date and join us in making a meaningful impact! 

Hit the Road with Miles for Melanoma: Join Us for Summer Fun and Impact!

Beating the Beast for Bob 2

Get ready to join us for Miles for Melanoma as we hit the road this summer! We're excited to announce our upcoming events in Chicago, IL (July 21), Cleveland, OH (August 4), Twin Cities, MN (August 17), Philadelphia, PA (August 24), New York, NY (September 14), and Morristown, NJ (September 15). Register early, start building your team and unlock fantastic fundraising incentives. Whether you join us in person or as a virtual participant, your support makes a real difference in the fight against melanoma. Don't miss out—let's make an impact together! 


Don't forget! The MRF and Neutrogena are teaming up with a local Walgreens to provide skin-checks by board certified dermatologists the day before our Chicago Miles for Melanoma 5K event! 

Location: Walgreens at 1372 North Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60622 

Date: Saturday, July 20th 

Time: 12-4pm CT 

Upcoming Events

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