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GW Dermatology and La Roche-Posay Partner to Establish GW Skin Cancer Research Acceleration Fund

The Department of Dermatology at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) has partnered with La Roche-Posay to establish the La Roche-Posay Skin Cancer Research Acceleration Fund at GW. The $50,000 gift will be used to support the growth of the GW Cutaneous Oncology Program, led by Vishal Patel, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at GW SMHS and director of cutaneous oncology at the GW Cancer Center.

“We are grateful for the continued and evolving partnership with La Roche-Posay. Their investment in research and education at GW SMHS, now focusing on skin cancer, will have positive ripple effects throughout our specialty,” said Adam Friedman, MD, professor and chair of the GW SMHS Department of Dermatology and director of the Supportive Oncodermatology Clinic, which has also received support from La Roche-Posay.

This new award will fund Patel’s work aimed at accurate identification of skin cancer, risk stratification of tumor aggression, and preventative therapies to keep tumors from forming in the first place. He is currently investigating the use of artificial intelligence to help dermatologists more accurately identify skin cancers as well as predict their behavior, and he is investigating multifaceted, chemopreventive approaches to prevent the growth of non-melanoma skin cancers, such as squamous and basal cell carcinoma. Skin cancers represent a growing epidemic, according to Patel, and treating these tumors can involve multiple surgeries, pain, and scarring.

“I am confident we can make significant strides in how we approach and manage skin cancer,” Patel said. “We need to prioritize novel approaches that improve our diagnostic abilities and therapeutic options so we can provide personalized, cutting-edge, and cost-effective care to our patients. I am thrilled to have this support from La Roche-Posay. This gift will not only help us spur innovation, but it will also help impact our patients’ lives and the field of dermatology as a whole.”