March 18, 2005

Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653


Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania Hosts
Second Annual Focus on Melanoma Conference

Thursday, March 31, 2005
12:30 PM – 4:30 PM
University of Pennsylvania Biomedical Research Building II/III
Ground Floor Auditorium
Curie Boulevard & Osler Way, Philadelphia, PA

(Philadelphia, PA) A history of three or more sunburns before age 20 – particularly severe, blistering sunburns – may double your risk of melanoma, a very serious form of skin cancer that causes the most skin cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is currently the fastest growing cancer in the U.S., with incident rates more than doubling since 1973. The good new is that melanoma is highly curable if detected and treated early.

On Thursday, March 31st from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania will host its second annual Focus on Melanoma Educational Conference for those whose lives have been affected by melanoma and all who are looking to learn more about the prevention, detection and treatment of this increasingly more common cancer.

This education conference features presentations and workshops led by faculty of the Abramson Cancer Center and covers a full spectrum of topics from “Understanding Melanoma,” “Safe Sun Strategies,” to “Taking Control of Your Care,” “Enhancing Your Quality of Life,” and learning how to find the best melanoma information on the Internet.

Lynn Schuchter, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology and Abramson Cancer Center melanoma expert, is chairing the conference. Currently, Dr. Schuchter participates in several national, multi-site vaccine trials for melanoma. She is a leading researcher in the study of the medication Gleevec, in combination with chemotherapy, for the treatment of advanced melanoma.

Keynote speaker for the conference is Martin, C. Mihm, JR, MD, FACP, Clinical Professor of Pathology and Dermatology at the Harvard Medical School. A nationally recognized researcher and clinician, Dr. Mihm’s work focuses on the biology and pathology of malignant melanoma and the immune reaction.

Refreshments and special exhibits will be provided for conference guests. Admission is free. To register, please call 1-800-789-PENN or register online at


The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1973 as a center of excellence in cancer research, patient care, education and outreach. Today, the Abramson Cancer Center ranks as one of the nation’s best in cancer care, according to U.S. News & World Report, and is one of the top five in National Cancer Institute (NCI) funding. It is one of only 39 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Home to one of the largest clinical and research programs in the world, the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania has 275 active cancer researchers and 250 Penn physicians involved in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #3 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System is comprised of: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

This release is available online at