Several specialists from the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center (MASCC) at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute (ISCI) were among the invited speakers at the 74th annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. The largest annual gathering of dermatologists in the U.S., this year’s meeting was held March 4-8 in Washington, D.C.
Inova Physicians Discuss Melanoma Care
Inova experts presented on the importance of multidisciplinary care when treating patients newly diagnosed with melanoma.
The session highlighted Inova Medical Group physicians Suraj Venna, MD, director of the Inova Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center; Sekwon Jang, MD, director of Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Therapeutics and Research at MASCC and Gordon Hafner, MD, surgical oncologist, Associate Residency Program director and General Surgery section chief for the Department of Surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
During the forum, the Inova speakers discussed the benefits of their multidisciplinary approach to care. They shared the case of a patient who came to MASCC for a second opinion after receiving a melanoma diagnosis elsewhere. After the MASCC melanoma team carefully
reviewed her case and tissue samples, they discovered that the cells were benign mole cells rather than melanoma. The patient avoided needless surgery.
What Is Multidisciplinary Melanoma Care?
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Multidisciplinary care for melanoma brings together dermatologists, oncologists, surgeons, dermatopathologists (who focus on the study of skin diseases at a microscopic level) and other cancer experts for a comprehensive approach to treating patients with the disease.
Inova’s multidisciplinary melanoma care clinic is a “one-stop shop,” the speakers explained. Rather than making a series of appointments with a variety of experts, patients can consult with an entire team of melanoma experts in a single visit. This personalized approach allows patients to receive the very best care.
Inova Skin Cancer Specialists Share Their Expertise
MASCC experts also gave several other presentations and talks at the meeting.
Dr. Jang presented an update on new approaches for treating advanced melanoma. Jennifer DeSimone, MD, a dermatologist at MASCC specializing in skin lymphomas and high-risk skin cancers, discussed the latest research on complex cutaneous lymphomas, rare cancers of white blood cells that primarily involve the skin. And Dr. Venna presented the results of a research study looking at the role of radiation in treating a specific subset of melanomas.
Several research projects by MASCC experts were also selected for presentation:
- Five Year Survival of Nodular and Superficial Spreading Melanoma in the US Population. This analysis showed that early stage melanomas that have a so-called “nodular” growth pattern appear to have a more aggressive course.
- Clinicopathologic Characteristics and Cytogenetic Profiles of Melanocytic Tumors of Uncertain Malignant Potential”MELTUMP” — A retrospective chart review. This study provided preliminary information about the factors doctors use when deciding to pursue lymph node biopsies in cases involving ambiguous moles.
- Survival of Desmoplastic Melanomas With and Without Adjuvant Radiation. This study suggests that adding radiation therapy to treat a subset of melanomas may improve survival.
The annual dermatology meeting allowed the MASCC specialists to share their expertise with colleagues from around the world. But they also apply that same expertise to treating patients every day right here at home.
Learn more about the Inova Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center.