Game On Mole – urgent action required to tackle melanoma, which claims more Australian lives than our annual road toll. Olympian and melanoma survivor Cate Campbell, and Melanoma Institute Australia Co-Medical Directors Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO, will address the National Press Club of Australia about the melanoma crisis impacting young Australians and the urgent action required to save lives.
Cate Campbell is used to being in the national spotlight. At just 16, Cate made her Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games and claimed two Bronze medals. Since then, she has represented Australia at four Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games, four World Championships and three Pan Pacific Championships. Cate’s medal haul includes four Olympic Golds, one Silver and three Bronze medals. She is a four-time World Champion and is part of the team that currently holds the 4x100m freestyle World Record (set at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021). Cate was earlier this year elected Chair of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Athletes’ Commission.
One national title Cate wasn’t vying for was to be diagnosed with Australia’s national cancer – melanoma. Cate’s outdoor lifestyle, coupled with her fair Scottish complexion, put her at high risk of developing skin cancer. However, it was only after a friend had a close call with melanoma that Cate had a mole on her arm removed. It turned out to be Stage 1 melanoma. After her diagnosis Cate was shocked to learn that melanoma was the most common cancer impacting 20-39-year-old Australians. She is also proof that early detection saves lives, as her melanoma was caught early and cured with surgery alone.
Cate is now National Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia and uses her profile (and her scar on her arm) to advocate for sun safety and the importance of knowing your skin and seeking medical advice if you notice any changes.
‘Melanoma affects so many young Australians, not just those who are diagnosed, but their friends and families as well,’ Cate said. ‘The ripple effect is huge. We need to change the narrative in Australia, and make sun safety and early detection second nature, so we can save lives from this disease.’
Professor Georgina Long AO
Professor Georgina Long AO is Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), and Chair of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research at MIA and Royal North Shore Hospital, The University of Sydney. She was recently named the world’s top melanoma expert by expertscape, based on articles published 2012-2022.
Professor Long leads an extensive clinical trials team and laboratory at MIA, with a focus on targeted therapies and immuno-oncology in melanoma. She is principal investigator on phase I, II and III clinical trials in adjuvant and metastatic melanoma, including trials in patients with active brain metastases. She is the chief investigator on NHMRC funded research into the molecular biology of melanoma, with a particular interest in clinical and tissue biomarker correlates of systemic therapy sensitivity and resistance.
In recognition of her ground-breaking research and work, Professor Long was recognized with the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Outstanding Female Research Medal (2021) and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (2020) and has received several awards, including the prestigious Ramaciotti Medal for Biomedical Research (2021), the Research Australia GSK Research Excellence Award (2018) and the Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund Prize for Discovery in Medical Research (2016). She is author of over 400 peer-reviewed publications in clinical and translational research in melanoma, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Science, Nature, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Discovery. She was the first woman and first Australian to be President of the prestigious international Society for Melanoma Research (2018-2020).
Professor Richard Scolyer AO
Professor Richard Scolyer is Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), Senior Staff Specialist, Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney; and Conjoint Professor, Central Clinical School, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney. He is ranked as the world’s leading melanoma pathologist, the world’s 6th top melanoma expert overall (according to expertscape, based on articles published 2012-2022), and the leading Australian Pathologist in the entire field of Pathology.
Professor Scolyer diagnoses the most complex pigmented lesion cases and each year receives more than 2000 cases for opinion from around the world. He effectively integrates his clinical practice with leading an award winning translational melanoma research laboratory. Professor Scolyer has been chief investigator on 3 consecutive 5 year NHMRC program grants and has received multiple personal Fellowships from the NHMRC and CINSW. He has also been an investigator/advisor on multiple phase I, II and III clinical trials and a frequently sought-after advisor to industry.
In June 2021 Professor Scolyer was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medicine, particularly in the field of melanoma and skin cancer, as a clinician, researcher and educator, and to national and international professional organisations. His record includes co-authoring more than 700 peer reviewed publications/book-chapters including in prestigious journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Discovery with >43,000 citations. In 2020 he received the Cancer Institute NSW Premier's Award – Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year, the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) Distinguished Fellow Award 2020, The University of Sydney’s 2020 Alumni Award for International Achievement and Clarivate Web of Science Group “Highly Cited Researcher 2020”. Richard was an editor of the 4th Edition of the World Health Organisation Classification of Tumours (Skin Tumours volume). He is also Vice Chair of the Melanoma Expert Panel of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) for the 8th edition of AJCC Cancer Staging System and a contributing author to 6 other volumes of the WHO Classification of Tumours including for Soft Tissue and Bone, Digestive System, Thoracic, Female Genital Tract and Paediatric tumours.
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