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Detroit Researcher Takes Lead Role In Melanoma Study

DETROIT (WWJ) – A researcher from Detroit is co-leading a team that’s studying ways to personalize treatment for melanoma, a form of skin cancer that is particularly difficult to treat.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting spoke with The Detroit’s Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Dr. Patricia LoRusso who will lead the “Stand Up To Cancer – Melanoma Research Alliance Dream Team.”

“We don’t want to necessarily take that drug and duplicate — just give it generically to another patient because the have a similar diagnosis. Because what we’re trying to define is the uniqueness of each patient’s tumor,” LoRusso explained.

Dr. LoRusso, the first woman to lead such a dream team, will be working with Dr. Jeffrey Trent of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona on this $6 million, three-year project.

Close to 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and a reported 8,000 each year will die from the cancer which may be apparent in the form of oddly colored and shaped moles.

“They’re the most deadly, and certainly the one that we’ve had the most difficulty with, making a major impact … It’s an exceedingly difficult cancer to deal with,” Dr. Trent said.

“So, we’re going to literally personally develop a treatment plan for these patients rather than treat it one-size fits all,

Learn more about the project: www.standup2cancer.org or www.melanomaresearchalliance.org.

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