Melanoma Research Foundation
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Men's Health Awareness Month

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month. Although melanoma does not discriminate by age, race or gender, men over the age of 50 are one and a half times more likely to develop melanoma than women. The good news is that 90% of cutaneous melanomas are considered to be preventable and when caught early, most cases are very treatable and highly survivable. The MRF has developed a robust library of resources to help educate patients, caregivers and the general public about melanoma. Our most recent materials – The Real Truths About Tanning and Sunscreen and Your Daily Routine, provide vital information about prevention and ways to incorporate sun safety into your daily life.

June also featured National Cancer Survivors Day. There are over 1.3 million Americans currently living with cutaneous melanoma and its rarer subtypes – ocular, mucosal and pediatric melanoma. About two years ago, the MRF embarked on a survivorship initiative, which involved surveying the melanoma community and hosting patient roundtables to better understand survivors’ needs. Based on these initial findings, the MRF put together a plan to address several issues related to health and wellness and partnered with MyVictory, a fitness-streaming platform for cancer survivors and those who support them. Visit MyVictory and use the promo code MRF to gain free membership and access to over 1000 fitness classes in their On-Demand Library.

We hope you will take advantage of the fitness program and join us in December for our first virtual mini Global Survivorship meeting and then again in March 2022 for a robust hybrid in-person/virtual event in Washington, DC.

Support the MRF

Support the MRF with Neutrogena and Walgreens!

Earlier this summer, Neutrogena joined with Walgreens to launch a limited edition line of co-branded sunscreen, with $1 from each purchase donated to the MRF. These are available online and in more than 4,600 Walgreens stores nationwide, and over 50,000 products have already been sold! Whether you're planning a long awaited beach trip or a backyard barbecue for Independence Day, stay sun safe and support the MRF by stocking up on SPF at these Walgreens stores!

The MRF is immensely grateful to Neutrogena and Walgreens for their commitment to promoting sun protection and skin health, as well as their strong support of the MRF’s mission to eradicate melanoma.

Shop for SPF at a Walgreens Near You

Encouraging Data Presented at ASCO

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting was held virtually on June 4-8, 2021, bringing together leading oncologists and cancer researchers to share the latest developments in the research, prevention and treatment of cancers including melanoma. As is tradition, the MRF kicked it off with its annual Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC) meeting involving investigators from its 22 member sites focused on translational research collaborations.

ASCO highlights of note included positive results for the phase 3 trial of Relatlimab (RELA) & Nivolumab (NIVO) in untreated advanced cutaneous melanoma. This marks the first positive phase 3 trial of a checkpoint inhibitor that targets the lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3) [ASCO Abstract 9503]. This combination also showed promising response rates when given as neoadjuvant/adjuvant therapy to 30 patients with resectable stage 3 or oligometastatic stage 4 melanoma [ASCO Abstract 9502]. For first-line metastatic uveal melanoma, a phase 3 study reported significant improvement in overall survival in a trial with Tebentafusp (TEBE) vs. Investigator’s Choice. TEBE redirects T cells to target gp100+ cells. A rash is associated with response. [ASCO Abstract 9527].

To learn more about the work presented at ASCO 2021, please visit either ASCO Daily News or the ASCO meeting page. For more information about the MRF's scientific initiatives, upcoming meetings and research priorities, visit the MRF Research Center.

MRF Research Center

Calling All Ocular Melanoma Patients!

Join the VISION Registry today! On May 10 the MRF's CURE OM initiative launched the VISION Registry: a first of its kind patient reported ocular melanoma (OM) registry and we invite you to join the more than 100 participants who have already registered for this historic patient driven research tool! The VISION Registry allows for ocular melanoma patients and caregivers to directly participate in groundbreaking research to help OM physicians and scientists increase knowledge, develop more effective treatments and, one day, a cure for OM! Read the official launch announcement to learn more and to join the VISION Registry, click below.

Join the VISION Registry

Join the Federal Grant Review Process!

The MRF is committed to increasing federally funded melanoma research and is currently looking for patients who are interested in representing the voice of the over 1.3 million Americans living with melanoma to serve as new consumer reviewers with the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) Peer-Review Melanoma Research Program (MRP).

To serve as a patient advocate reviewer in FY21, applicants will need a letter of nomination from the MRF as part of the application process and are encouraged to reach out to the MRF by clicking the button below or by emailing Cassie Beisel at All interested applicants will need to complete their applications, including a nomination letter from the MRF, no later than July 15, 2021. If you have been nominated in the past you do NOT need to be nominated again and are already in the pool of eligible consumer reviewers.

Join the MRP Grant Review Program

Last Chance: Apply for 2021 Research Funding!


The 2021 MRF Grant Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available and the application period closes soon! In 2021, the MRF will offer Career Development Awards, Medical Student Awards and a Young Investigator Team Award to advance the field of translational immuno-oncology (detailed in separate RFPs which have already been completed). Applications for Career Development Awards will be accepted until July 12, 2021 at 5pm ET. Additional information about funding opportunities can be found on the Grant RFP page or by emailing

Funding opportunities are also currently available from the Department of Defense Melanoma Research Program (MRP). Individual investigators and research teams are invited to apply for these multi-year research awards ranging from $500,000 to $1.4 million. For more information and to apply, visit the DoD Melanoma Research Program page.

Patients and Caregivers:

As part of the grant review process, the MRF is also seeking melanoma patient advocates to join its 2021 research grant review panel. Including patients in the grant review process ensures that the patient perspective helps to guide grant funding opportunities. Formal scientific training is not required, but those with such a background are welcome to apply as well. Information on how to apply, eligibility criteria, estimated time commitment and more are available in the Advocate Reviewer RFP.

Visit the MRF Research Center

25th Anniversary: Sun Safe Social Norms

As the MRF celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2021, each month we are highlighting members of the scientific community that the MRF and its donors have been proud to support as they pioneer new breakthroughs in melanoma research and treatment development. This month we shared a guest blog post by Lori Crane, PhD, MPH. Dr. Crane was awarded a 2016 Donor Directed Research Award, funded by MRF Board Member Elise Barish and her husband, Brian. Along with her colleague, Nancy Asdigian, PhD, Dr. Crane developed YES-CAN!, a program to teach high school students about the science of melanoma as well as effective health messaging through the creation of compelling video messages for their younger peers. To learn more about this project, watch the videos, and hear how it created sun-safe changes in young students, read Dr. Crane's blog below.

YES-CAN! Brings Sun Safety to Schools

Global Melanoma Survivorship Survey

The MRF continues our work on cancer survivorship. As a leader in the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy, the MRF is bringing together other melanoma advocacy groups around the world to gather patient experiences and opinions regarding survivorship. We want to hear from you: please complete our survey to share your experience and insights about survivorship. Responses from this survey will help to shape future MRF-hosted meetings on survivorship. The survey will be available through Friday, July 23.

Take the Global Survivorship Survey

Tell Us About Your Cutaneous Melanoma Experience

The MRF invites you to participate in a national cutaneous melanoma (CM) research study that is being conducted by the Melanoma Research Foundation and sponsored by Castle Biosciences!

This 5-10 minute survey is completely anonymous and your responses will be very valuable for the CM community. If you would like to participate, please click on the link below and you will be taken directly to an online questionnaire that will ask about your experiences as a patient with CM. We hope that you will consider participating.

Act fast: everyone who completes the survey by July 10, 2021 will be entered into a drawing to win an MRF sun-safe summer gift basket!

If you have any questions about the study, please email

Take the Cutaneous Melanoma Survey

Register Now! 2021 Pediatric Melanoma Summit

Following the first-ever Virtual Pediatric Melanoma Summit in 2020, the MRF is excited to announce that registration is now open for an in-person summit at the Great Wolf Lodge in Phoenix, AZ on September 24-26, 2021! Join pediatric melanoma families from across the US to learn the latest information on research and treatment, meet new friends and make a splash in the giant indoor water park! Registration is FREE but is required by August 27, 2021 in order to reserve your space. Additional details about the event, health and safety procedures, program agenda and more will be available soon, so bookmark the page below to stay up to date with the very latest information.

2021 Pediatric Melanoma Summit

Miles for Melanoma: All the Way to $100K

Following an exciting start in May, the Miles for Melanoma program raced into the second month of the season with virtual events in Denver (June 12), Florida (June 19) and Atlanta (June 26)! Runners, walkers and supporters in these incredible communities raised a total of $100,000, and it's not too late to support your favorite participant or team!

After such a strong start, we're headed to the Lone Star State for the month-long Virtual Texas Miles for Melanoma event, beginning on July 1! In addition to uniting Texans in the fight against melanoma, this year's event will feature an element of friendly competition: between Austin, Dallas and Houston, whichever city is the top fundraiser will be the host of our very first in-person Miles for Melanoma Texas event in 2022! Register, select your city and start raising funds today!

The MRF thanks Miles for Melanoma National Sponsors Neutrogena, Coolibar, Novartis and Natera.

For the full calendar of 2021 Miles for Melanoma events, click here:

Miles for Melanoma Event Calendar

Attend an MRF Gala!

The MRF will celebrate three exciting galas in 2021, and tickets are now available for each of this year's events! After a successful series of virtual galas in 2020, we're excited to return to in-person celebrations at the 10th Annual Denver Gala on September 23, the 20th Annual New York Gala on October 14 and the 7th Annual Chicago Gala on November 4!

At the Denver Gala, the MRF will present a Legacy Award to Karl Lewis, MD, the inaugural Influencer Award to Scott A. Walter, MD, and the Leadership Award to Elise A. Barish. In New York, Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens will be recognized with a Corporate Leadership Award (and will also be recognized at the Chicago Gala), Nobel Laureate James P. Allison, PhD will be honored with a Legacy Award, Muneeb Shah, DO will receive the Influencer Award and MRF Board Vice Chair Steven Silverstein will be presented with a Leadership Award. At the Chicago Gala, Sunandana Chandra, MD, MS will be recognized with a Humanitarian Award and Excellence in Prevention Awards will be presented to Tracy Campbell, MD and Jessica Sheehan, MD. Attendees at each Gala will also have the opportunity to celebrate the inspiring stories of courageous patients and survivors who have been honored in previous years.

For more information about each of the 2021 MRF Galas, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit the MRF Galas page.

MRF Galas

Your Next Step is the Cure

Bernadette Boyle and Linda O’Brien are CURE OM advocates and race directors for Your Next Step is the Cure, a fundraising 5k on October 2, 2021 in Lithia, Florida supporting the MRF’s CURE OM initiative. Bernadette lost her husband, Joe Boyle to this dreaded cancer in January 2016 and Linda is still fighting with yearly scans and eye exams; Linda remains NED – No Evidence of Disease.

In 2019, there were 133 participants, 50+ raffle items, 20+ sponsors and $13,000 donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation! In 2021, they hope to see an increase in all aspects of the event. Like every year, Bernadette and Linda hope to bring awareness to this rare and orphan disease and remind everyone of the importance of an annual dilated eye exam.

Bernadette and Linda are fortunate to have Allison Kropff onboard as their emcee from Tampa’s CBS affiliate, WTSP. Allison has a vested interest in ocular melanoma, as it has affected her family too. Click the button below to register for the event, and learn how you can host your own fundraising event by visiting the MRF CommUNITY Fundraising page.

Your Next Step is the Cure

Upcoming Events

  • October 9: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma DC
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Los Angeles
  • November 13: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma San Diego
  • November 14: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma San Francisco

View MRF Events



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