The biggest home of melanoma: Queensland, Australia

Melanoma is one the most common cancers in adolescence and young adulthood with incidence rates similar as soft tissue sarcomas and central nervous system tumors. Melanoma is an aggressive cancer with ongoing investigations in possible future treatments; so there is so much research to do before we can find a definitive solution. In recent years, is even more important because in some countries the amount of people diagnosed in the latest stages is increasing, and there is little to do in such cases. One of the best examples is Queensland, which has one of the highest rates of cancer among adults and adolescents aged 15-24 years in Australia. The reports showed that if melanoma rates were excluded, Queensland would have one of the lowest rates of cancer in Australia among adults aged from 15 to 24 years old. Currently Queensland is called the skin cancer capital of the world because their climate and demographics make them more vulnerable to skin cancer needing ongoing vigilance in sun protection. In fact, melanoma incidence is expected to increase even more among older people due in large part to skin damage done earlier in life.  Australia now has 48 cases of melanoma per 100,000 people; compared to 50 cases per 100,000 in New Zeland; even though there are fewer in Australia, specifically in Queensland they expect to continue increasing due to their high UV levels through all seasons. The most common is the cutaneous melanoma; which is also attributed to their predominantly white population living in a subtropical environment plus the high levels of annual ultraviolet radiation exposure. Even young Australians are being diagnosed with cancer as the population grows, there is no detailed information regarding melanoma incidence trends or survival rates in the 15 to 24 year old group, that’s why the importance of monitoring possible changes in rates at young ages of this largely preventable cancer.

There are immunotherapies with promising results, focusing for example in the LAG-3 blockade, however not everyone has the same reaction to the treatment. Reasons why the pharmaceuticals companies are trying to develop treatments to specific populations and look for new ways to improve the diagnostic procedures of this complicated disease. Here in Althian we have plenty experience managing this type of clinical trials. Contact us and we will be more than happy giving you more information.