Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, when melanoma is caught early, there’s a 5-year survival rate of about 97%. Once the cancer spreads to other organs, the survival rate drops to 15–20%.
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is a leader in the study of cancer genetics and its researchers have discovered more inherited cancer genes than any other cancer center in the world. Genes responsible for breast and ovarian cancer, colon cancer, head and neck cancer, and melanoma were identified here.
From its beginning, HCI has followed a “lab bench to patient bedside” research model. HCI is the only cancer center in the region that conducts basic, translational, and clinical research simultaneously, taking what’s learned in the laboratory through drug development and into the clinic.
Diane Fouts thought she had a bad cold. It was the spring of 2015, and she had a cough that just wouldn’t go away. She went to see her doctor, who ordered a CT scan. The results were far more serious than a cold. Diane had lung cancer. She is not a smoker; in fact, she has never smoked.
On Dec. 1-2, national experts in genetics, medicine, law, big data and other will fields gather for Frontiers in Precision Medicine II: Cancer, Big Data and the Public, a unique precision medicine symposium at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. The symposium, sponsored by the U’s Colleges of Law, School of Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, addresses topics in law, ethics, and science as precision medicine is gaining more attention nationwide from health care systems, practitioners, researchers, insurers and federal agencies.
Like any major illness, cancer affects more than the body. It wreaks havoc on the lives and emotions of patients and their families. Ask Judi Evans, who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and told she had just six months to live. “My daughter and I looked at each other, and we said ‘no, we're not accepting that.’ So we immediately came to Huntsman Cancer Institute.”