“The study findings are interesting and may relate to bereaved people no longer having someone to help with skin examinations, leading to delays in diagnosis, although we cannot rule out stress being important in melanoma progression,” said senior author Sinéad Langan, PhD
“This study represents an important milestone for the field of plasma medicine,” said co-senior author Richard Wirz, PhD, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCLA Samueli. “It demonstrates that the microneedle patch can realize the plasma delivery while also working with the drug to improve the effectiveness of cancer therapy.”
Research shows that between 1970 and 2009, rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have increased 800% among women between the ages 18-39, making it the second most common cancer in young women.
“Our study shows that age is an important factor to consider when administering immunotherapy to melanoma patients,” said Ashani Weeraratna, Ph.D. “A combination approach to deplete immune suppressive cells in combination with checkpoint blockade therapy might benefit younger patients, although further studies will be required to evaluate more broadly the potential immune toxicities in this approach.”