News & Recipes

Join the Fight against Melanoma

With the hot summer sun in Australia, it may come as no surprise that melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer to affect young people between the age of 15 and 39 years old.

Tragically, if melanoma cancer is not caught in its early stages, it can metastasise (spread) to the lymph nodes and then rapidly to distant parts of the body where it becomes harder to treat.

With your support of The Longest Table, research is creating hope!

In the last ten years new treatments have been developed which harness a patient’s own immune system (known as immunotherapy) to fight metastatic melanoma. These treatments are already helping patients live longer and in less pain.

The first immunotherapy treatment to come on the market was called Ipiluminab, which has shown some amazing results through a clinical trial at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH) in Adelaide. A fact physician in training Tharani Perera discovered through a review of this treatment.

“Metastatic melanoma has been a particularly tough cancer to treat before immunotherapy, with outcomes from traditional chemotherapy being only modest. This new way of tackling cancers using immunotherapy drugs is actually getting considerable results – which is exciting.”

Immunotherapy treatment has been available to patients with metastatic melanoma for the last 10 years allowing patients to live up to 10 or 12 months longer than they would have if treated with only chemotherapy.

“The fact this treatment can increase survival for even 10 to 12 months is huge.”

Since the discovery of Ipilimumab, melanoma has become a rapidly growing research area with more immune-based treatments emerging and having positive impacts on patients today. An exciting development, Tharani is confident research will continue improving care and treatment for her own patients in the future.

By hosting or attending a Longest Table dinner, you’re supporting research aimed at opening up more avenues to treat metastatic melanoma.