USC cancer research shines light on melanoma

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USC cancer research shines light on melanoma

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Published on 7 November 2016

University of the Sunshine Coast cancer prevention expert Professor Michael Kimlin is using a highly prestigious grant from the United States Department of Defense to research the link between vitamin D and melanoma.

Professor Kimlin, who joined USC last year as its Foundation Chair in Cancer Prevention, is a world-leading researcher into the environmental factors that lead to cancer, particularly melanoma. He collaborates with Cancer Council Queensland.

Professor Kimlin obtained the AU$353,000 US grant for his project investigating the relationship between vitamin D and melanoma.

“This study aims to better understand the disease progression,” he said.

“We want to find out if vitamin D might reduce how aggressive the melanoma tumour is.

“My USC team has now started recruiting 600 Queensland melanoma patients to investigate the relationship between vitamin D levels, sun exposure behaviour, and melanoma tumour characteristics,” Professor Kimlin said.

“Once enrolled in the study, participants will be interviewed about their sun exposure and cancer history, skin screening practices, general health and diet.

“They will be asked to provide a small blood and saliva sample for vitamin D-related genetic and biochemical analysis, and to allow access to clinical records for information about their melanoma tumour.”

To be eligible, patients must be aged between 18 and 79 and have newly-diagnosed melanomas, and their doctors need to be registered for the USC study.

Collaborating on the study are Associate Professor Pip Youl and Professor Peter Baade from Cancer Council Queensland.

This work is supported by the United States Department of Defense, through the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program under Award No. W81XWH-15-1-0541.

Julie Schomberg

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