IMG 9367-low 
Thank you for supporting team "Fighting Melanoma". I truly appreciate all of your time and generous contributions.
We can celebrate our success at the First Annual DC Miles For Melanoma Fun Run last Sunday in Vienna, Va.  This was our first event and WE raised $45,000 that will go towards melanoma research and take us one step closer to the cure. 
We had 300 participates! Team Fighting Melanoma sported the fastest group of runners on this rainy Sunday morning, of our 28 Team Members who participated 8 runner won Awards
Look at all my ringers: 
Finishing 3rd over all in the race and first in his age group, Sergei Stratos
First Place in 1-14, Zach Brown
Second Place, Male 30 -34, Karim Elmahri
Second Place, Women 35-39, Anne Huynh
Third Place, Woman 40-44, Joanna Alexis
Second Place, Women 45-49, Carrie Pham
First Place, Women 50-54, Judy Durham 
We could not have pulled it off without your support!


Experts look at the up side of taking a drug holiday. Not everyone is convinced, but


However, a vemurafenib expert discouraged any use of the drug outside of labeling. "Clinicians should not try [intermittent dosing] at home," said Keith Flaherty, MD, from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston.

Read more -- http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/782715

Last day in LA - taking a red-eye back to DC tonight. The visit with Dr. Ribas went great, and everything seems to be on track.

I spoke with Dr. Ribas about future options, should I need to consider them. First discussed adding a MEK drug to my current BRAF treatment, though he said (and correctly so) "why rock the boat", that since everything was working so well with the BRAF drug, and in his mind, the fewer drugs, the better.

Next was Anti-PD1. Now he got excited - he said that Anti-PD1 was making a huge impact, and that future results would do nothing but get better. With a positive response rate of 30% - 50% currently, that's saying a lot. Anyway, Anti-PD1 is likely what he'd suggest if something went wrong with my BRAF treatment.

Finally, I asked about TVEC. I noted that he was quoted in one of the articles praising TVEC. He said he submitted both positive comments AND negative comments about the drug, and that the journalist decided to ignore the negative comments. Hype? He didn't say that, though it appears he's not too excited about TVEC.....

That's it. Sergei and his buddy AJ had a blast with Mike and me over spring break - skiing in Arizona, hanging in Harrah's in Laughlin and playing in the sun in Malibu. But its time to go home....I miss my family. And my dog. I'm coming home, Zoe!!!!

Bring It On!


We are getting into the warm sun filled days of Spring and May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and throughout the country there will be fundraisers and races to promote awareness and shed some light on prevention and advocacy for this disease. 

Protect your skin!  

Your skin is one of your largest assets -- after all, it’s the largest organ in your body. Treat it with respect, care and tenderness. Did you know if you used a tanning bed before the age of 30 the risk of you getting melanoma rises 75%. Scary -- I don’t know about you, but I was one of those tanning bed “Hawaiian Tropics” kind of gals? in the 80’s who was in search of that perfect glow. 

Guess where that got me? 

In a long-standing relationship with Mr. Melanoma… 

Did you know that UV light is a known carcinogen, and too much of it can age your skin and can damage your DNA. Kind of crazy that in Virginia you can still be under 18 years old and get into a tanning bed.

Get your skin checked and often. Current recommendations are yearly skin exams by a dermatologist.  If you are at high risk for melanoma, you may need to have your skin examined even more often.   This can help you to not only have GREAT skin, but you could even save your life. 

Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide. Chances are it will affect someone you love sooner or later.


    • You have a 1 in 50 chance of developing melanoma throughout your lifetime. 
    • Melanoma can develop on anyone.
    • Majority of melanoma is caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight (yes, that means tanning beds).
    • More men contract melanoma than women.
    • Young women, under the age of 39, have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.
    • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
    • When diagnosed early, 99% of melanoma patients survive longer than 5 years. The survival rate falls to 15% for patients with advanced melanoma.


Prevention Tips:

    • Seek out the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
    • Don’t burn.
    • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
    • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
    • Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
    • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
    • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
    • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
    • See your dermatologist every year for a professional skin exam.


It’s kind of amazing to think that up until 2010 the treatment of melanoma had not changed in 25 years. Through the advancement of research organizations like the Melanoma Research Foundation (“MRF”) we are starting to see rays of light at the end of this once dark road.

The MRF is the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF's website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers.


For more information on The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) visit http://www.melanoma.org



Get out your running shoes and let's beat this thing one step at a time!


Join Us For The First Annual Miles for Melanoma DC 5K Run/Walk 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vienna Train Station (The WO&D Railroad Station Stop in old town Vienna)


Registration is 7am-8:30 

Run Walk begins at 8:30am 

Registration Fee is $30 for 13 and up, and $15 for those under 13 year of age.


Here is the link to the registration site : http://events.melanoma.org/2013DC5K



Attendees will learn the best way to prevent skin cancer, have an opportunity for a free skin check and just have FUN!  Sport your best SPF / UV protective clothing and celebrate with some added colored zinc on your face and nose for extra protection.  


You can still play outside and keep your skin safe!


See you in Vienna at the WO&D Train Station on May 19th!


They discuss one of TR's actual cases that started with interferon and then went with a vaccine approach, which failed. Today, they would have the following treatments options: ipilimumab, vemurafenib & surgical resection. The discuss what they would do if presented with the situation now.

You will need to register but it is worth it -  A MUST SEE!


Melanoma Research Foundation

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