Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine

Melanoma: Latest on Cures, Causes and Vaccines

We're delving into melanoma with world-renowned expert Professor Michal Lotem, head of Hadassah's Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at the Sharett Institute of Oncology.


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IN THIS Episode

Professor Michal Lotem

Area of specialty

Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy

Episode Transcript

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About this episode

Today, approximately 1.3 million people in the US live with melanoma. While this may not seem like a huge number compared to our global population of just over 8 billion, melanoma remains the deadliest form of skin cancer. It is also the subject of our newest podcast episode, Melanoma: Latest on Cures, Causes and Vaccines. So it was only fitting that we sat down with our very first guest, Prof. Michal Lotem, head of the Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at Hadassah.

She talks about how we can prevent skin cancer, how to recognize it and new and innovative ways to treat the disease. She's also on the heels of an exciting collaboration, working with a team of researchers on using mRNA, the same technology used to develop the first COVID-19 vaccine, to treat cancer. Part of her consortium aims to create a cancer vaccine, while other members, like Prof. Lotem and her team, are working on new cell therapies and increasing the likelihood of cancer responding to immune strategies. She says RNA technology is exciting because RNA templates can be made and altered fast, which could pave the way for better and more personalized cancer treatments.

As we learn in the podcast, melanoma, or skin cancer, can be deadly at stage IV. However, Prof. Lotem discusses that new treatments are making it possible to cure some people, even those with advanced stages of the disease. Nonetheless, she recommends not contracting it and protecting oneself by staying out of direct sunlight.

"Even if you do not get a sunburn, you may develop skin cancer due to exposure," warns Lotem.

Listeners will also hear: How can you spot if you may have skin cancer? What other areas of the body should you pay attention to? What else is Prof. Lotem working on? And much, much more.

Further learning:

"Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine" is a production of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Hadassah enhances the health of people around the world through medical education, care and research innovations at the Hadassah Medical Organization. For more information on the latest advances in medicine please head over to hadassah.org.

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The show is hosted by Maayan Hoffman and produced by the team at the Hadassah offices in both New York and Israel

This episode includes promotions for:

Our recent episode with Dr. Polina Stepensky
If you are enjoying this episode, you’ll want to check out our previous episode with Dr. Polina Stepensky, head of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cancer Immunotherapy for Adults and Children.

Stepensky talks about her work using genetically engineered T cells to help treat multiple myeloma, a blood cancer found in bone marrow.

You can find that episode of "Hadassah On Call" on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcast. Or on the web at hadassah.org/hadassahoncall.

Hadassah’s first Zionist Symposium, Inspire Zionism: Tech, Trailblazers and Tattoos!
Save the date on October 25 and 26 for Hadassah’s first Zionist Symposium, Inspire Zionism: Tech, Trailblazers and Tattoos!

This virtual event will celebrate and spotlight distinguished Zionist innovators from diverse industries and backgrounds. Potential discussion topics include social media, popular Israeli music and television, the tattoo taboo and food culture. We're highlighting the unique struggles and triumphs of Zionists balancing multiple identities, such as persons of color or members of the LGBTQIA community, and featuring prominent Zionist women trailblazers and more.

Save the Date and keep listening to Hadassah On Call for more information.

About our guest(s)

Professor Michal Lotem is a world-renowned physician scientist and the head of Hadassah's Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at the Sharett Institute of Oncology.

A sabra—native-born Israeli—Prof. Lotem served as a flight surgeon in the IDF. She graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and has been a senior physician at Hadassah Hospital since 1995. In addition to her clinical specialties in dermatology and clinical oncology, she has a broad scientific background in tumor immunology, acquired in the surgery branch of the National Cancer Institute of Health and the Department of Oncology at Stanford University. She is a member of the Adelson Medical Research Foundation headed by Dr. Miriam Adelson and Sheldon G. Adelson (AMRS) together with members of the leading cancer institutes in the United States. Prof. Lotem lives in Modiin, Israel and is a mother of three young adult children.