Narrator: This is Science Today. Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer that will affect more than 60 thousand Americans this year. About eight thousand patients will die from the disease. Dr. Alistair Cochran of the UCLA Jonnson Cancer Center says most melanoma patients undergo surgery but few other treatments including chemotherapy have proven effective against this aggressive cancer.
Cochran: But unfortunately at this time, compared to the effectiveness of similar treatments in other disease systems like breast cancer, the treatments for melanoma are comparatively ineffective. So, the main emphasis is early identification and early treatment surgically.
Narrator: Cochran recently discovered a chemical way to reverse the immune suppression of lymph nodes linked to the early spread of the cancer - a finding that may one day lead to ways to protect melanoma patients before their cancers attempt to spread.
Cochran: It really opens up an entirely new approach to therapy and in the case of melanoma, we certainly need some kind of new therapy.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.