Events

Past Ocular Melanoma Support Alliance Recordings

  • An in-depth overview of the treatment of uveal melanoma with immunotherapies and how long-term responses may be achievable by means of new immunological strategies.

    OMSA welcomed Dr. Richard Carvajal, Director of Experimental Therapeutics and Melanoma Service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Carvajal is focused on the development of novel therapies for patients with melanoma and other cancers, with the overall objective of controlling and curing these diseases. To achieve this goal, he has used the increasing knowledge of the underlying biology of cancer to rapidly integrate this knowledge, novel therapeutic agents, and efficient trial design in order to improve the outcomes of cancer patients everywhere.

    In this lecture, Dr. Carvajal provides an in-depth overview of the treatment of uveal melanoma with immunotherapies and how long-term responses may be achievable by means of new immunological strategies. Dr. Carvajal speaks directly to the encouraging results found for some very recently investigated agents such as the bispecific tebentafusp, for which a remarkably increased one-year overall survival rate, and similarly increased disease control rate, were observed in early phase studies. The drug, tebentafusp used in the clinical trial is the first ever research study to report an improvement in overall survival for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma!

    Date: November 18, 2021

  • A systematic review of the evidence for management of liver metastases from ocular melanoma. He will provide an in-depth overview of liver directed therapy, systemic treatment options, guidelines on best practice, and what's on the horizon for clinical research for metastatic OM.

    OVERVIEW: Despite successful treatment of primary uveal melanomas, up to 50% of patients subsequently develop systemic metastasis, with the liver involved in up to 90% of patients. The recognition of the poor prognosis associated with liver metastasis has led to the use of various liver-directed treatment modalities. Dr. Weight will undertake a systematic review of the evidence for management of liver metastases from ocular melanoma. He will provide an in-depth overview of liver directed therapy, systemic treatment options, guidelines on best practice, and what's on the horizon for clinical research for metastatic uveal melanoma.

    SPEAKER - Ryan M. Weight DO, MSMedical Director | The Melanoma And Skin Cancer InstituteBiography: Dr. Ryan Weight is a medical oncologist and founder of The Melanoma And Skin Cancer Institute (MSCI) headquartered in Denver, CO. The MSCI offers immediate access to a medical oncology physician who specializes in treating patients diagnosed with melanoma and other types of skin cancers via in-person and telehealth consultation. Led by Dr. Weight, The MSCI offers a combined 20 years of experience in caring for cancer patients. Dr. Weight received his post-graduate training in Philadelphia, PA completing a residency in internal medicine at Drexel University and fellowship training in hematology and oncology at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Weight has served on faculty at Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Colorado and has published in leading medical journals. Dr. Weight has a reputation for the sincerity and quality of his patient care. A well-known expert in the skin cancer field, Dr. Weight practices on the cutting edge of medicine, having co-authored practice-changing clinical trials in melanoma and providing patients access to life-saving treatments through these and other clinical studies.

    Date: October 28, 2021

  • The history of the CURE OM program and where they are today, including upcoming events, applicable resources, and what’s on the horizon.

    For our July OMSA meeting we welcomed CURE OM Founder and Director, Sara Selig, MD, MPH. Dr. Selig will educate our OMSA group on the history of the CURE OM program and where they are today, including upcoming events, applicable resources, and what’s on the horizon. Dr. Selig will highlight their newly launched VISION Registry, a patient-driven OM registry geared to advance medical research. Join us as we learn about the avenues that you, your caregivers, friends and family can get involved and use your voice to advocate for your life and lives of other OM patients around the world.

    Date: July 21, 2021

  • Advance Care Planning: What is it, types of documents, misconceptions, discussion tips, when to review your directives, and resources around advanced care and hospice planning

    OMSA welcomed guest presenter, Bonnie Herrmann, a licensed Hospice Social Worker and Bereavement Specialist who focuses on disease and grief counseling and end of life discussions. Bonnie hosted an educational, open conversation around advanced care and hospice planning.

    It’s never too early to start defining what “quality of life” means to you, and making your wishes for future care needs known. "Hospice" can be a scary word that is widely misunderstood. Together we will learn about comfort-focused care, the range of supports available for you and your loved ones, and dispel common myths about hospice. Give the gift of clarity to your loved ones by joining us to learn more about advance care and hospice planning and what you need to know about living wills/advance directives and healthcare proxy designations.

    Date: July 24, 2021

  • Holistic approaches to relieve OM related symptoms such as chronic fatigue, migraines, stress, depression, weight loss, loss of sleep, and brain fog.

    In our May monthly edition of OMSA, we welcomed guest presenter, Kelly Calabrese, MS, CCN of Optimal Wellness Solutions in Colorado Springs, CO. Traditionally in the healthcare industry, your physician will prescribe a slew of medications and treatment regimens to combat disease. In the Functional Nutrition world where Kelly spends her time, the primary focus is improving the overall well-being of the patient, from the inside out. The many associated OM symptoms such as chronic fatigue, migraines, stress, depression, weight loss, loss of sleep, brain fog, and more can also be alleviated through a holistic approach including a proper diet, supplementation, lifestyle changes, and natural detoxification support. Join us as we explore a different perspective of health and wellness, providing real solutions to get one’s health and life back.

    Date: May 27, 2021

  • Covering the genetic drivers, investigational therapy clinical trials, immunotherapy, and molecular profiling for OM.

    In our April monthly edition of OMSA, we welcome guest presenter, Meredith McKean, MD, MPH, Associate Director of Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research at Sarah Cannon Research Institute at Tennessee Oncology. Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, offers integrated cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for those facing cancer in communities across the United States and United Kingdom. At Sarah Cannon Research Institute at Tennessee Oncology, Dr. McKean and her team focus on identifying genetic drivers of each person's individual cancer through a personalized medicine approach. Dr. McKean will jump into the capabilities and experience her team has within conducting investigational therapy clinical trials for uveal melanoma and how understanding melanoma as a whole is pivotal to finding what other treatments researchers need to add to immunotherapy to make cancers respond to treatment. She will also cover the significant strides molecular profiling and targeted therapies have made to increase the survival rate for metastatic melanoma

    Date: April 22, 2021

  • For our March 2021 edition of OMSA, we welcomed Jackie Herigodt, Director of Programs and Outreach at Imerman Angels. Jackie will be educating the group on an internationally renowned cancer mentorship non-profit organization, known as Imerman Angels. In 2003 Imerman Angels was created on the belief that no one should have to face cancer alone and without the necessary support. The group strives to provide comfort and understanding for all cancer fighters, survivors, previvors and caregivers through a personalized, one-on-one connection with someone who has been there, with the same diagnosis, in the same age-range. These one-on-one relationships with a matched "Mentor-Angel" give a cancer fighter or caregiver the chance to ask personal questions and receive and lend support and empathy needed to navigate a world that includes living with OM.

    Date: March 25, 2021

  • Education on the integrative treatment and management approaches that includes genetic, epigenetic and genomic techniques.

    For Colorado Retina's February 2021 Ocular Melanoma Support Alliance (OMSA) meeting we welcomed special guest speaker Dr. J. William Harbour, a nationally renowned ocular oncologist, cancer researcher, educator and innovator, with a particular interest in precision medicine for patients with ocular melanoma. Dr. Harbour's team works closely with the leading international ocular oncology referral center to elucidate the fundamental causes of the most common intra-ocular tumor in adults, ocular melanoma. Through his presentation he will educate on the integrative approach that includes genetic, epigenetic and genomic techniques. Diving into how modern genetic testing can determine a patient’s metastatic risk so that a risk-appropriate surveillance and management plan can be implemented. Dr. Harbour's discoveries from his laboratory are driving clinical trials of targeted genetic therapies for OM around the world.

    Date: February 25, 2021

  • A step-by-step therapeutic session, instructing you into restorative postures that create a deep sense of relaxation for the body, mind, and self.

    Our January OMSA meeting featured guest meditation and relaxation guru, Mia Cheney. Mia will be leading the group through a step-by-step therapeutic session, instructing you into restorative postures that create a deep sense of relaxation for the body, mind, and self. This mindful relaxation for the entire physical body is meant to re-direct attention away from the non-stop moving repetition of our thoughts, creating a more serene state and overall sense of well-being. Mia will provide an understanding of the effects of breath and mantra, techniques applied with focus, to improve capacity for healing. After this 30 minute session, attendees will be able to apply simple techniques to lead themselves through physical and psychosomatic release, relieving stress and anxiety from the spiraling tension we experience in everyday life.

    Date: February 25, 2021

  • An overview of low vision resources, such as occupational therapy, skills training, education, support, and orientation and mobility instruction to help you stay active and independent

    Managing ADL with Low Vision

    Our December 2020 OMSA meeting featured special guest speaker, Cori Layton, Director of Rehabilitation at Ensight Skills Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation. Cori will be presenting an overview of low vision resources, such as occupational therapy, skills training, education, support, and orientation and mobility instruction to help you stay active and independent. She will share her recommended vision assistance tools and gadgets to aid those who are struggling with loss of sight.

    Date: December 17, 2020

  • Cassie Beisel from the Melanoma Research Foundation discusses ways to be active in the community. She also discusses the value of advocacy and gives pointers on how to give back.

    Ms. Cassie Beisel, Senior Advocacy Officer with the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) facilitates a chat around advocacy in the OM healthcare reform, highlighting advances in policy, federal funding and regulatory issues. She will also provide helpful tips on how to get involved and give back to the melanoma community.

    Date: November 26, 2020

  • Dr. Sapna Patel, world renowned Medical Oncologist specializing in advanced Ocular Melanoma, from MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses current trials and treatments for metastatic Ocular Melanoma and what’s on the horizon.

    Dr. Sapna Patel, MD, a renowned melanoma oncologist, specializing in advanced uveal melanoma with one of the largest clinical metastatic uveal melanoma practices in the world. Dr. Patel will spend the first portion of the meeting discussing with the group new clinical developments in the treatment of advanced ocular melanoma. Dr. Patel will focus on her life work in translational tumor research and its effective therapies available to the OM population. We will conclude with an open group discussion moderated by trained mental health professionals who will facilitate a conversation around the emotional, mental, and lifestyle aspects of an OM diagnosis.

    Date: October 22, 2020

  • Dr. Charles Nutting, renowned interventional radiologist, discusses liver directed therapies and treatments for metastatic Ocular Melanoma.

    Dr. Charles Nutting, renowned interventional radiologist, discusses liver directed therapies and treatments for metastatic Ocular Melanoma.

    Date: September 24, 2020

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