Support Dr. David Polsky's Melanoma Research Program

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David Polsky

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Support Dr. David Polsky's Melanoma Research Program

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About My Campaign

Dear Friends,

The Ronald O, Perelman Department of Dermatology and the Perlmutter Cancer Center are at the forefront of much of the new, cutting-edge research into skin cancers. For example, our NYU Melanoma Research Program was recently awarded a prestigious SPORE grant funded by the National Cancer Institute to promote research that will move quickly from the bench to the bedside. SPORE stands for Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, and I am co-leading one of the four major projects. We will use molecular biology techniques to analyze skin biopsy samples of patients with melanoma to identify new biomarkers that will accurately predict those who may benefit from additional therapy after they complete their surgery.

Separately, our laboratory team developed standardized blood tests that measure DNA mutated by melanoma, called circulating tumor DNA or ctDNA. In a project with the pharmaceutical company Novartis, we found that the levels of ctDNA measured at the beginning of treatment for metastatic melanoma, and 4 weeks later, can help indicate patient survival. Our results suggest these blood tests can soon move to the clinic and help doctors more quickly detect when treatments stop working so they can better adjust the treatments to prolong a patient’s life. Our paper describing these results was recently accepted at The Lancet Oncology, the top oncology journal for clinical and laboratory-based research worldwide. We’re now working to make our blood tests useful for patients who receive treatments for earlier stage melanomas.

On the clinical side, we designed a novel clinical trial to test a telemedicine-based skin cancer detection system to assess up to three individual skin lesions for which the patient is concerned about skin cancer. Our goal is for the system to be deployed in pharmacies or other walk-in settings in rural and other medically underserved areas. The early results are promising, and we are looking forward to launching the next phase of testing towards the end of 2021.

I hope you will consider joining our research team as we seek to improve the lives of patients with melanoma and other skin cancers, and those at increased risk for these cancers. Here are a few examples of what your philanthropy can make possible: 

  • $5,000 supports a pilot study of a new protein biomarker in melanoma tumors
  • $10,000 will fund laboratory supplies for two months
  • $25,000 will fund a novel analysis to discover new gene expression biomarkers in melanoma tumor samples 
  • $50,000 will help support an additional research staff member to expand our blood test work

HOWEVER, PLEASE KNOW THAT a gift of any amount helps our studies and accelerates our number one goal of bringing improved treatments to patients. Our entire research team joins in thanking you for your consideration. 

David Polsky, MD, PhD

This campaign supports: Polsky Dermatology Melanoma Research


Keep up the good fight in early diagnosis and curing melanoma.
Good luck - keep going..

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