Over the past 25 years the Melanoma Foundation has made significant breakthroughs, many of which have lead to prevention , early diagnosis, and improved treatments for melanoma. Here a just a few:
- Support for the Sydney Melanoma Unit (SMU) at RPA Hospital (1986-2008), enabling it to become the largest centre for melanoma management in the world.
- Major public education campaigns leading to decreases in the incidence of melanoma, and in particular, the establishment of early diagnosis programs that contributed to a major improvement in the death rates from melanoma (which fell from 40% to 5% over 25 years).
- Development and maintenance of the world's largest melanoma database which has become a major asset for collaborative melanoma research for institutes around the world, with details of more than 30,000 melanoma patients currently recorded.
- Support for the development of melanoma vaccines.
- Support for basic genetic and biological research which has led to new understandings of the genetic complexity of the melanoma cell and the mechanism by which cell death can be initiated.
- Involvement in a major international study on Sentinel node biopsy which led to a new approach to the management of melanoma patients. The Sydney Melanoma Unit contributed half of the 2000 patients in this trial and thus has assured its success.
- Support for attendance at international melanoma meetings by Australian clinicians and researchers enabling maintenance of knowledge, and development of collaborative research programs.
- Substantial financial support for Melanoma Institute Australia (2009-2011) to support researchers, in particular, the maintenance and analysis of the melanoma database.
- Support for the 7th World Congress on Melanoma 2010, bringing 1100 of the world's leading clinicians and researchers to Sydney to develop new research collaborations and systems of management for melanoma patients.