Melanoma Research Foundation: Tanning Tax Dollars Put to Best Use with Rep. Bilbray (R-CA) Legislation

Top Quote Bill Will Generate Dedicated, Steady Funding for the Advancement of Melanoma Research. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) May 15, 2012 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Melanoma Research Foundation, the oldest and largest non-profit organization working exclusively in melanoma, applauds Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) for introducing the Melanoma Research Act, new legislation that will address the urgent need for dedicated and steady funding for melanoma and skin cancer research through revenues generated by a tax on tanning salons.

    "Congressman Bilbray's personal commitment to advancing melanoma research and expanding the treatment options for people battling this deadly disease is illustrated in this bill," said Timothy J. Turnham, executive director of the Melanoma Research Foundation. "Given the clear link between tanning bed use and melanoma, the use of the tanning tax for skin cancer research couldn't be more appropriate."

    The bill will take advantage of recent advances in understanding the genetics of melanoma, and allocate steady and predictable funding that will encourage further breakthroughs in melanoma research. The melanoma community saw two new drugs approved by the FDA in 2011 to treat melanoma - the first in 13 years - but these new treatments have not brought a sufficient improvement in the prognosis for people with melanoma.

    Researchers agree that the greatest promise in developing new treatments lies in genetic and immunotherapy-based treatment approaches, and exploring combination treatments to fight tumors via multiple pathways.

    The rates of melanoma incidence have been steadily on the rise. A recent study from the Mayo Clinic found that melanoma diagnoses among young women have increased eightfold over the past four decades. The National Cancer Institute projects that over 76,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2012 and over 9,000 will succumb to the disease.

    Congressman Bilbray announced the bill on Monday at a press briefing in San Diego, California. He was joined by his daughter, Briana, who is currently being treated for melanoma, and Dr. Gregory Daniels, who leads the melanoma research work at the University of California San Diego's Department of Medicine.

    "Briana's story underscores how important this legislation is," said Turnham. "As the number of people diagnosed with melanoma increases, especially in young people, we know that the need for more effective treatment options will grow. Investing in the effort now will help ensure we have answers and treatment options for those who need them."

    For more information about the MRF and treatment options for melanoma, visit

    About Melanoma
    Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 76,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2012, resulting in over 9,000 deaths. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old.
    The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails.

    About Melanoma Research Foundation
    The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF's website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at

  • FB Icon Twitter Icon In-Icon
Contact Information