Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center


Minorities Not Aware of Their Melanoma Risk; Archives of Dermatology Study


Researchers in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine have published an important study that found melanoma is diagnosed later among blacks and Hispanics compared to white patients, which suggests a lack of awareness among blacks and Hispanics about their melanoma risk. These patients, while at less risk than whites, tend to present with more advanced melanoma and suffer higher mortality rates from the deadliest skin cancer. “We found that there are more late stage diagnoses in minorities,” said Robert Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice chairman of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the UM Miller School and a member of the Bio-Behavorial Oncology and Cancer Control Program at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our hypothesis is that this is due to a lack of screening and a lack of awareness. While it is possible the biology of melanoma is more aggressive in certain populations, we believe more likely it is a public health issue.”

U.S. Cancer Researchers to Share Findings with Israeli Colleagues at International Conference


Top oncology physicians and scientists from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and the Cancer Center at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey will take part in the second Joint American-Israeli Conference on Cancer, June 28 - 30, at the Renaissance Jerusalem Hotel. This conference is intended to foster collaboration and information exchange between physicians and scientists in the two countries, and also to help Israel during a time of need given the ongoing tensions in the Middle East.

UM/Sylvester Researcher Shows Enzyme Can Fight Cancer


Jaime R. Merchan, M.D., M.M.Sc., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, has published an important study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on the workings of proteases in tumors. Proteases are enzymes that cleave, or split, proteins and they are known to play a role in the growth and spread of cancer. “There is a widely accepted dogma or paradigm that proteases are bad,” said Merchan, who recently joined the faculty of UM/Sylvester from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. “Our study provides evidence that proteases of the plasminogen activator system may negatively regulate tumor progression and that the tumor-delaying effects are directly due to their proteolytic activity.”

Papanicolaou Corps Makes Record Donation to UM/Sylvester


The more than 17,000-member Papanicolaou Corps for Cancer Research today announced a record-breaking gift of $3.325 million to fund cancer research at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The gift brings the total raised by the Pap Corps over the past four years to nearly $11 million, which exceeds their initial five-year pledge made in 2003 of $10 million.