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USA Mitchell Cancer Institute has been named a Melanoma Center of Excellence for its expertise and treatment offerings for the most serious form of skin cancer. The designation was made by the nonprofit Melanoma Hope Network based in St. Louis, Mo.
“This recognition sets us apart from our competition and lets the community know that MCI is the place to go for the most advanced melanoma care,” said MCI Director Dr. Michael A. Finan. “No one in the region has invested as heavily in melanoma research and treatment as we have.”
While it accounts for only 1 percent of all skin cancers, melanoma is more dangerous because it is more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not detected early.
MCI takes a team approach to melanoma treatment, led by surgical oncologists Dr. Marcus Tan and Dr. Spencer Liles. MCI offers clinical trials targeting melanoma and hosts an annual event, the Hope Cup golf tournament, which supports the MCI Melanoma and Skin Cancer Endowment.
“This designation recognizes and acknowledges the team we have in place at MCI and the University of South Alabama consisting of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists as well as basic science researchers -- all focused on better understanding this disease,” Liles said. “As a group, we are committed to not only treating melanoma, but also learning how the cancer develops in order to discover breakthroughs in prevention and early detection.”
Skin cancer research conducted at MCI includes recent studies on tanning practices, the effects of sunless tanning chemicals on cells, the origins of skin cancer and skin cancer prevention with the use of silver nanoparticles.
Nationally, melanoma is on the rise, according to JAMA Dermatology. Americans face a 1-in-54 lifetime risk of developing invasive melanoma, compared with a 1-in-58 lifetime risk in 2009.
MCI is the only academic cancer research and treatment institute on the upper Gulf Coast corridor, with treatment centers in Mobile, Fairhope and Monroeville. Follow updates for MCI at usamci.com, on Facebook and Twitter.
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