Posts tagged “research

Dr. Anthony Mak – 2018 Winner David Cornfield Melanoma Fund Award

The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund is proud to celebrate Anthony Mak, MD, PhD, as the recipient of the 2018 David Cornfield Melanoma Fund Award.

The DCMF Award was jointly established by the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund and the University of Toronto to support and advance melanoma research. The DCMF Award is available to residents and fellows in the Department of Medicine and students at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health who have demonstrated special interest and research achievements in the field of melanoma.

Anthony’s doctoral studies focused on the functional characterization of the C133 protein, a marker of cancer stem cells. His interest in melanoma began when he learned that CD133 expressing melanoma stem cells behave very differently than stem cells from other cancer types. He, and others, proposed a new model that presented CD133 as an important protein in maintaining melanoma stem cells near tumour blood vessels.

Now, as a dermatology resident, Anthony and his collaborators are using the latest high-throughput screening technology to comprehensively identify essential genes in melanoma. The outcome of this project will mark a significant advancement in the field, as it will provide melanoma researchers with a validated database of candidate therapeutic targets to begin developing new melanoma treatments.


Melanoma Awareness Month 2017

By Danielle Paterson, Executive Director, David Cornfield Melanoma Fund

This year’s Melanoma Awareness Month was a great one for DCMF. Our awareness, prevention and research efforts were in full swing. Our 2017 Sun Smart Kids Program starting rolling out across Ontario, our melanoma awareness videos Dear 16 Year Old Me and #newfamilyrule continued to empower people to protect and check their skin, and the DCMF Award at the University of Toronto began to take shape.

cupcakes 10 yearsWe also had the great pleasure to celebrate DCMF’s 10th Anniversary with our most loyal supporters at Deloitte Thursday Night Lights on May 11th. That night we spent some time reflecting on where we started and what we have achieved.

We have also taken the time to reflect on the significant melanoma awareness, prevention and research progress worldwide – much has changed since DCMF began in 2007. In particular, we admire Australia’s efforts to tackle melanoma head on. In 2014, Australia became the first country in the world to see a decrease in melanoma rates. This decrease was no fluke. It was as a result of a concerted multi-year, multi-sectoral strategy to curb melanoma in Australia – the country that had the highest melanoma rates in the world. Using prominent public health campaigns, school-based sun safety programs, the development of sun protective clothing and the use of shade, Australia enabled its citizens to significantly reduce their risk of melanoma. In 2016, Australia even banned indoor tanning nationally. Australia’s leadership is commendable.

On the research front, the past 10 years have been remarkable. New diagnostic technologies have emerged making early detection more effective. And groundbreaking treatment options, such as targeted treatment and immunotherapy, have been introduced and are helping to save lives that certainly would have been lost a decade ago.

These awareness, prevention and research advances are impressive. But much work remains to be done.

Skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma) is the most common cancer in North America accounting for more cases than the four major cancers combined (breast, colorectal, lung and prostate). Thankfully, melanoma is preventable and treatable if detected early.

During DCMF’s first decade, a strong foundation has been built to help curb the incidence of melanoma. This Melanoma Awareness Month, we did our small part. Moving forward, every month, we all need to do more.


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