Mucosal melanoma is a rare form of melanoma, making up only about 1% of melanoma cases. Approximately 50% of mucosal melanomas begin in the head and neck region. Unlike most cases of skin melanoma, mucosal melanoma is not considered to be related to or affected by U.V. exposure, and there are no obvious identified risk factors. Lacking an identifiable culprit and given its rare occurrence, most cases of mucosal melanoma are quite advanced once identified, giving it a poor prognosis.
At Michigan, we believe the key to treating and curing all types of melanoma is to develop earlier detection methods and innovative approaches to treatment. Scott A. McLean, M.D., Ph.D., of our Division of Head and Neck Oncology is researching the role that circulating tumor cells have in the metastasis of melanoma. These circulating cells shed from a primary tumor and circulate in the bloodstream and can serve as seeds for the subsequent growth of additional tumors in vital distant organs. By detecting these circulating cells and treating them, we believe we can improve patient outcomes and even cure melanoma.
In April 2015, Dr. McLean founded the Victors Melanoma Research Team to help raise funds for melanoma research here at the U-M Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Boston for Bridget
Bridget Anne Moloney-Pelto was a loving, dynamic woman with a passion for adventure. In 2011, Dr. McLean diagnosed Bridget with mucosal sinonasal melanoma. Despite receiving a poor prognosis, Bridget embraced life and lived each day to its fullest until her death in November 2014. Her zest for life inspired many, including Dr. McLean.In memory of Bridget, Dr. McLean and members of the Victors Melanoma Research Team ran the Boston Marathon twice in Bridget's memory while also raising more than $7,000 for melanoma research.
Tailgate to Tackle Melanoma
This fall, the Victors Melanoma Research Team will take their cause to the football stadium with a fundraising tailgate before and during the University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University football game on Oct. 7. Participants will enjoy great food as we raise funds for melanoma education and research, all while taking in the sights and sounds of a great U-M tailgate. We will also be joined by a special guest and Victors Melanoma Team “Captain,” George Mans, 1961 University of Michigan Football Captain and melanoma victor. The tailgate will take place at the Richard L. Postma Family Clubhouse, beginning four hours before game start time (formal announcement to follow when game time is announced).
Sign Up for Updates!
To stay updated on game time, registration, and other important information, please subscribe.