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From disease origins to prevention and treatment, unraveling the science of skin cancer requires innovative research. The University of Arizona Cancer Center has been a leader in skin cancer research for decades. The University of Arizona Skin Cancer Institute brings together nationally recognized scientists to collaborate in the discovery of:
The Skin Cancer Institute offers a variety of research studies to eligible patients and their family members. This research includes:
Clinical trials are biomedical or health-related research studies conducted in human beings that study the use of specific therapies to treat or prevent skin cancers. These studies are guided by detailed protocols and are approved by an institutional or ethical review board.
Three Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of new topical drugs for skin cancer prevention, developed by SCI scientists and physicians, were completed in the last year. Promising results from these studies will be used to further advance our drug development efforts.
See a list of open clinical trials for melanoma and other skin cancers at The University of Arizona Cancer Center: Find a Clinical Trial.
For more information on clinical trials in general, please visit http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/info/understand
Epidemiologic or population research focuses on the impact of disease, environmental, and genetic factors on skin cancer pertaining to large groups or populations, rather than individuals. These groups can be determined by many factors, including environment (e.g., geographic location, sun exposure) and disease (e.g., type of skin cancer, genetic factors).
The Skin Cancer Institute is sponsoring a Family Study of Skin Cancer in Arizona. This study is being conducted in families at high risk for melanoma (family history of melanoma, multiple melanomas, early-age diagnosis) seen in the Cutaneous Oncology Program or Pigmented Lesion Clinic. The primary aim of this research is to study how potential genetic markers in blood cells and various environmental exposures, such as sunlight, affect the risk of developing skin cancer or the response to skin cancer treatment.
Patient Registry and Tissue Bank
The Skin Cancer Institute Patient Registry and Tissue Bank collect information on skin cancer incidence in Southwest Arizona. The purpose of the registry and tissue bank is to create a repository to be used by doctors and researchers to better understand the causes of skin cancer. The data collected will describe both the individual with the skin cancer, and the characteristics of the skin cancer itself. By studying personal histories, medical records, blood, saliva and tissues from thousands of patients, we hope to find better ways to treat and prevent skin cancer.
Patients who are seen in the dermatology clinic at The University of Arizona Cancer Center - North Campus will be given a clinic questionnaire to complete before their appointment. If the patient selects the ‘interested in registry’ box on the last page, a staff member will talk to him or her after their appointment. Patients are asked to complete a registry questionnaire and give a small sample of saliva. Blood samples may be collected at future visits. The patient’s medical records are reviewed, and samples of tissue collected from biopsies and surgeries may be requested from the patient’s physicians.
To learn more, contact Stephanie Koch at 888-724-2749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behavioral research is the study of cognitive factors (mental processes of perceiving, thinking, and remembering), affective factors (emotion), attitudes, and beliefs that may or may not influence use of skin cancer prevention or sun protection behaviors. For example, previous studies conducted by team members have examined the behavioral responses to a diagnosis of skin cancer and factors such as risk perception and cancer worry that affect risk-reducing behaviors.
Current areas of The University of Arizona Basic and Translational Research include
One major project within the Skin Cancer Institute is the Chemoprevention of Skin Cancer Program Project led by Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, Dr. David Alberts, Principal Investigator.
The Chemoprevention of Skin Cancer Program Project grant is funded by the NIH-NCI. The overall goal of this grant is to develop new strategies to eradicate intraepithelial neoplasias (IENs) in the skin and dramatically reduce the risk of skin cancer. The grant consists of basic, translational, and clinical research projects and includes leading researchers at the University of Arizona as well as Loyola, Stanford, and the University of Minnesota. In addition, there are four cores to support these projects – Administration, Biometry, Biomarkers, and Drug Development. The clinical trials conducted on this grant aim to develop new treatments for the prevention of skin cancer. Individuals who are interested in learning more about the clinical trials can call (520) 321-7745.
There have been multiple research discoveries as a result of the basic and translational science conducted by Skin Cancer Institute members. These include: