Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer

Sadly, 1 Australian dies from melanoma every 6 hours. 

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1 Australian dies from melanoma every 6 hours. You can change this.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and because Australia experiences the highest rate of UV exposure in the world, we all face a higher risk of developing it. 
Each year, over 17,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, and the number of cases continues to rise. For non-melanoma skin cancers, the number is as high as 400,000 people per year. 

The scary truth is that 2 in 3 of us will have to confront a skin cancer diagnosis one day. 

Unfortunately, skin cancers like melanoma are incredibly hard to treat due to their invasive nature and high resistance to chemotherapy.

While survival rates are high for early-stage melanoma, they drop drastically for patients who are diagnosed at an advanced stage - as low as 26.2%.

Skin cancer in Australia

But there is hope. Scientists like Prof Nikola Bowden (above), a former Cure Cancer grant recipient, are changing the status quo.

Prof Nikola's research is focused on delivering personalised diagnosis and treatment to advanced melanoma patients who have run out of options.

This research could transform how melanoma - and other cancers - is treated in the future. A variation of Prof Nikola’s original melanoma research has been applied to finding new treatments for people with ovarian cancer. It just goes to show that research works, and we cannot cure cancer without it.

You can make further revolutionary skin cancer research possible. Your generosity gives the brightest emerging scientists the opportunity to carry out their trailblazing work.

Meet Harriet, a melanoma survivor

Harriet is a melanoma survivor who was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma in her early 20s.

When Harriet was told she had melanoma in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was engulfed in fear—fear of the unknown, fear of treatments, and fear of what her future held. But with two life-saving surgeries and access to routine checks and mole mapping, her future is a lot brighter.

She can still fulfil her dream of travelling the world without the constant fear of missing a change in diagnosis.

With your generous support, we can continue to back the most brilliant and cutting-edge projects in skin cancer research.

Prof Nikola Bowden's work to combat melanoma

With funding support from Cure Cancer in 2010 and 2013, Prof Nikola Bowden discovered that DNA repair is deficient in melanoma. Because of these findings, it is possible to alter the treatment to get DNA repair to work again.

Prof Nikola’s discovery has led to ongoing clinical trials focused on a novel combination therapy created by repurposing two
existing drugs. This could become an affordable, easy-to-access and effective treatment that increases the survival times of advanced melanoma patients.

In 2015, Prof Nikola Bowden was awarded the Young Tall Poppy Science Award. She is currently the DNA Repair Group Leader and a Cancer Institute NSW Career Development Fellow in the Cancer Research Program of HMRI

Your vital support for cutting-edge research like Prof Nikola Bowden's can save a life. Will you consider making a donation to help fund skin cancer research today?

How your donation helps


Can pay for microscopy to identify cancer-fighting cells in tumours.


Covers lab supplies for up to 10 vital experiments.


Can provide cutting-edge software to analyse cells.


Can provide a high-spec incubator to help grow vital cell cultures.

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Melanoma at 24 years old: Harriet's story

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A melanoma researcher shares her sun safety tips

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Together, we can cure cancer.

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