clinical trials

WEBINAR: Latest news on melanoma/skin cancer/ocular melanoma from ASCO 2022

(le français suit)

Don’t miss our webinar with Dr. Marcus Butler, the Medical Oncology Disease Site Lead for Melanoma/Skin Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is also the Clinical Director for the Immune Monitoring Team at the Princess Margaret where he focuses on the immunologic impact of anti-cancer immunotherapies.

This webinar reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting taking place in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2022.

Dr. Butler shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma treatment looks like for the near future in Canada.

Click HERE to view the recording


WEBINAIRE : Mise à jour sur le mélanome/cancer de la peau/mélanome oculaire de l’ASCO 2022

Regardez l’enregistrement du webinaire avec le Dr Marcus Butler, responsable du site d’oncologie médicale pour le mélanome et l’oncologie de la peau au Princess Margaret Cancer Centre et professeur adjoint de médecine à l’Université de Toronto. Il est également le directeur clinique de l’équipe de surveillance immunitaire du Princess Margaret, où il se concentre sur l’impact immunologique des immunothérapies anticancéreuses.

Ce webinaire a passé en revue les dernières nouvelles, les points essentiels, les données cliniques et d’autres mises à jour présentées lors de l’assemblée annuelle de l’American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) qui a eu lieu à Chicago, en Illinois, en juin 2022.

Le Dr Butler a partagé ses idées clés sur ce à quoi ressemble le paysage du traitement du mélanome, des cancers de la peau autres que le mélanome et du mélanome oculaire dans un avenir proche au Canada.

Cliquez ici pour le webinaire

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ASCO 2021 Conference Report by SYSF

The 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting took place from June 4-8, 2021. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention was conducted entirely online. This event brings together over thirty thousand oncologists, pharmaceutical representatives, and patient advocates from across the world and across cancer types for five days of networking, learning, and presenting new research. Every year, Save Your Skin Foundation puts together a report of the panels regarding innovative treatments in the melanoma sphere. In this report are detailed recollections of these panels, categorized by topic. All information offered in this report is the intellectual property of the presenter and their team, as cited by the report.

Click here to read the report!


Every year, melanoma and uveal melanoma become more widely covered by clinical trials. While the continued innovation of treatment for these cancers is exciting, it means that we were unable to include every presentation and abstract related to melanoma, uveal melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers. Therefore, abstracts and presentations that provide updates on safety profiles of past studies and abstracts that do not produce promising clinical results have been excluded. We have also excluded abstracts which, at the time of the meeting, did not have confirmed data.

The informational resources cited in this report are a combination of the transcripts and slides from the ASCO meeting library. All images are courtesy of the author of the respective talk. Any queries may be directed to

If you are interested in more information from the ASCO 2021 annual meeting, Save Your Skin Foundations is pleased to offer a Post-ASCO 2021 Update with Dr Omid Hamid video concentrated on melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma. Click HERE to view the recording on youTube


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Post-ESMO Webinar with Dr. Dummer: Skin Cancer News 2020

Webinar Recording Available! Click HERE

Presented by Professor Reinhard Dummer, Professor of the University of Zurich and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Dermatology in the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland, this webinar reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress Annual Meeting September-October 2020.  Dr. Dummer shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer treatment looks like for the near future.  Watch until the end to see Dr. Dummer and Kathy Barnard discuss hope and survivorship in melanoma skin cancer.


Prof. Reinhard Dummer, MD
Vice-Chairman, Department of Dermatology
University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland

Professor Reinhard Dummer is Professor of the University of Zurich and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Dermatology in the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland and is a key thought leader in worldwide cutaneous oncology. Currently he is heading of the Skin Cancer Unit and the Clinical Trial Unit of the Department of Dermatology. Professor Dummer began his medical education in haematology and oncology before successfully completing his dermatology residency in Würzburg, Germany, and Zürich in 1992.

He is Board Certified in allergology, clinical immunology, dermatology and dermatopathology.

Professor Dummer’s principal research interests are molecular biology, immunology and immunotherapy of cutaneous malignancies, including cutaneous lymphomas and melanomas. He has published more than 741 papers with a cumulative impact factor of more than 6372. He w as past-president of the Melanoma Project Group of the Swiss Institute for Applied Cancer Research since 1999 -2016, is a member of German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and is past board member of the Society for Melanoma Research and past President of the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas.

He is a founding and board member of the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO), ESMO, URPP and past President of the European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR).

In the last 20 years, he has developed a leading skin cancer center. This center offers best medical care, a network of clinical trials reaching from phase I to phase III. His contributions are acknowledge in many publications in outstanding journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Press etc. Locally he is intensify cooperation with basic research group at the University and the federal University (ETH). This has resulted in translation work improving our understanding of cutaneous malignancies.

To view the webinar recording please CLICK HERE


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ASCO 2020 Event Report

In 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting took place from May 29th-31st, with the last two days being devoted to online presentations.

This report will be dedicated to the presentations that representatives from Save Your Skin Foundation remotely attended, with a focus on melanoma, innovative treatments, and survivorship. The information in this report is sourced directly, occasionally verbatim, from ASCO presentations and abstracts. If you require more information on an abstract, the clinical trial numbers (where available) are included for your reference.

Please CLICK HERE to read or download the report.


Feedback or questions?  Contact us –

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ASCO 2019 Event Report

The 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting took place from May 31-June 4, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This event brings together over thirty thousand oncologists, pharmaceutical representatives, and patient advocates from across the world and across cancer types for five days of networking, learning, and presenting new research.

Every year, Save Your Skin Foundation puts together a report of the panels regarding updates on the innovative treatment of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and ocular melanoma. Included in the report are detailed recollections of these panels, in chronological order.

Please CLICK HERE to download and read the report.


Feedback or questions?  Contact us –

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SYSF Webinar: Ocular Melanoma

Ocular Melanoma – Innovative Treatments and Beyond

With Presenters:

Dr. Marcus Butler, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Omid Hamid, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Los Angeles, California

Nigel Deacon, Ocular Melanoma Survivor/Patient, British Columbia, Canada

This webinar provides an update on the landscape of metastatic ocular melanoma treatment in Canada and the United States. Dr. Hamid and Dr. Butler share their knowledge of current practices and care pathways, identifying the most pressing needs for patients. They also discuss innovative treatment options such as IMCgp100, as well as clinical trials available to Canadian patients with ocular or uveal melanoma. Nigel Deacon shares his experience with this rare cancer; Kathy Barnard facilitating.

Missed the webinar? Listen to a recording of the presentation here, or watch it on our YouTube channel here.

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Introducing “ForPatients” by Roche

We are happy to announce the launch of an informative website about clinical trials by another of our supporting partners.  F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. has put together a website called ForPatients, which includes a search tool for finding clinical trials in various cancer indications, plus other medical conditions such as autoimmune or neurodegenerative disorders.  Anyone can search for clinical trials around the world; it is easy to navigate, and even includes an interactive map showing recruiting clinical trial locations.

ForPatients also contains detailed information about clinical trials in general, and discusses patients’ rights in and after a clinical trial. It also points out where to find published results of any given Roche trials, and it has general care tips for patients plus links to additional support resources.

We applaud Roche for this initiative, and wish patients around the world much success with this valuable new resource.  Click here to check out the new website:


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Introducing BMS Study Connect

At a recent meeting in Montreal with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada (BMS) team, we found a fantastic new resource they have launched to improve patient communication and access to BMS clinical trials.

Their website, “BMS Study Connect” is a user-friendly platform to allow patients and caregivers to easily search for new, open, upcoming, or past clinical trials for BMS products in any health indication.  It provides background information on diseases treated by their pharmaceuticals, plus has a search bar and links to more information for several diseases including fibrosis, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, plus several types of cancer including head & neck cancer, blood, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and lung cancers as well as melanoma.

BMS has done a lot of research in melanoma over the years and is credited with the creation of ipilimumab (Yervoy) which has greatly contributed to the shift toward an increase in melanoma survivorship.  Currently their ipilimumab-nivolumab combination treatment is in great demand, and they are working on yet other possibilities for the treatment of melanoma.  On BMS Study Connect, patients can search for any open trials involving these treatments or others, and can even answer a few qualifying questions to figure out if they may be eligible to participate in a new trial.

If a patient finds a clinical trial they would like to learn more about, they can print out the details from BMS Study Connect and take it to their medical team to see if and where they may be able to participate. By clicking on the “Pre-Screen Now” button patients can enter their details as applicable and find more information.  Some of the information on BMS Study Connect is sourced from the reputable website, which adds the ability to connect patients with applicable trials outside of BMS.

BMS Study Connect allows for patients to better understand their clinical trial options and experience, and allows them to communicate with BMS in a way that makes the situation more personal.  BMS genuinely cares about the patient experience in their clinical trials, and is making a great effort to show that through this online presence.

There is also the option for patients to connect with other patients to discuss their trials or topics related to their condition.  By clicking on the word “Community” at the top of the site, users will be re-directed to the secure and free website, and invited to join the BMS Clinical Trial Support Community in which they can chat with other patients and share experiences.

At this time the community is overseen by representatives from the United States, but it is open globally, and there is Canadian participation.  It is beneficial to draw from the experiences of others even in the States at this point, as their population of BMS-product-recipients is larger in general, therefore there is more information to be gleaned from fellow trial participants.

We are grateful that BMS has taken this initiative to better support patients, and we applaud their efforts.  BMS Study Connect is a valuable resource and we hope to share this website far and wide, help to increase patient access to clinical trials and help them to understand their options and better navigate the clinical trial process and follow-up.  Check it out here:  BMS Study Connect

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Key Takeaways from the Canadian Melanoma Conference

The Canadian Melanoma Conference (CMC) took place February 19-21, 2016 in Whistler, British Columbia and was a uniquely Canadian perspective on the landscape of Melanoma as it is happening in Canada now.  Attended by medical oncologists, dermatologists, pathologists, surgeons, radiologists, molecular biologists, industry partners and patient groups the Canadian Melanoma Conference is an opportunity to review and explore new therapies and to understand what’s coming next in the treatment of melanoma.

 Here are some key takeaways from that conference:

We understood at the Society for Melanoma Research Congress (SMR) last November in San Francisco that LDH levels play an important role in response rates in both the BRAF mutant positive population and the wildtype, and while no long term data on overall survival is available yet in the ipilimumab + nivolimumab combination therapy, early findings suggest that patients with both high and low LDH levels are having the same response to this combination therapy.  High LDH levels in patients, which correlate with aggressiveness of the tumour, demonstrated resistance to long-term response from targeted and immune therapies. Whereas patients with low disease burden are seeing great outcomes on therapy.  To view the SMR report go here.

There are distinct gender differences in melanoma, including different tumour types and different tumour sites (men are more likely to develop melanoma on the backs and trunks whereas women are more likely to develop melanoma on the legs.) An epidemiology study of melanoma by Dr. Thomas Salopek identified that globally, women are twice as likely to have melanoma between the ages of 15-50 (during menstrual years) which have researchers asking what role estrogen plays in the development of melanoma. There is also a spike in incidence in men after the age of 50, there is not a clear understanding of why this is happening.

Resident Dr. Paul Kuzel presented on the epidemiology of pediatric melanoma in Canada from 1992-2010.  Melanoma is the most common primary cutaneous malignancy diagnosed in patients under the age of 20.  Unlike adult melanoma, pediatric (those under the age of 18) melanoma rates remain stable.  Same distribution data between genders is seen in pediatric melanoma under the age of 15, after the age of 15 there are despairing differences in gender incidence of melanoma.

Melanoma patients are showing high rates of usage of mental health services in with use and rate of services depending on treatment administered. A study by Dr. Timothy Hanna showed a substantial burden on mental health services in advanced melanoma patients.

Sequencing was again a hot topic and data coming in the next year will provide treating clinicians more information on what to use and in what order when treating patients.

Standard of Care for the treatment of metastatic melanoma varies depending on what province you live in, with most patients having access to ipilimumab as a first line treatment, while doctors and patients in Québec are still on a regiment of dacarbazine (DTIC – chemotherapy). Dr. David Hogg expressed concern on the use of DTIC for the treatment of metastatic melanoma an felt that standard of care for the treatment of metastatic melanoma should be clinical trials (to find out more about clinical trials go here).

To see Kathy Barnard’s thoughts on why it’s important for patient groups to attend CMC go here 

To here my thoughts on CMC go here 

A full report on CMC will be available within the coming weeks.

Executive Director, SYSF

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