Experts identify emerging frontiers in skin cancer and pigment diseases

In a Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research article, world-leading experts identify emerging frontiers in skin cancer and pigment diseases.

Melanoma is a deadly type of skin cancer that arises from pigment-forming cells. The article challenges the field by addressing provoking questions in melanoma immunotherapy, cancer systems biology, medical and surgical oncology, pigment biophysics, and precision prevention of skin diseases such as melanoma.

"Diversity and individuality, but also health disparities, are fundamental topics rooted in the research, which focuses on melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells of the skin," said lead author Dr. Fabian Filipp, of the University of California, Merced.

In a joint effort, the pigment cell research community tackles timely aspects of big data science across international boundaries, health care reforms, bioethical considerations of direct-to-consumer diagnostics, health disparities among underserved minorities, and precision medicine based on individuality.

"A key realization is that successes in the translational arena of melanoma need to be duplicated in other key areas of pigment cell research, including vitiligo, melasma, albinism, and other pigmentary diseases," Dr. Filipp explained. He noted that collaborative, cross-disciplinary team science is exemplified by the International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies. This forum promotes global scientific interchange among basic and clinical investigators working on cutting-edge aspects of melanocyte biology and disease, and is unified around a passion for understanding pigmentation and pigmentary diseases.

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