Raising the Bar

Over its 12 years, MRA has been a catalyzing force in mobilizing resources, talent, and energy towards its mission to end suffering and death due to melanoma worldwide.

As a funder, MRA has directly invested more than $110 million – and leveraged an additional $200 million from other sources – to become the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research worldwide. This flood of capital has helped to usher in a new paradigm in melanoma treatment – where patients have more options and hope than ever.

As a convener, MRA’s Scientific Retreat brings partners together from across the globe to share best practices, emerging technologies, and promising treatments. The Scientific Retreat also serves as a reminder about the importance of this work, who it’s for, and that no one individual or institution can go it alone. MRA’s Melanoma > Exchange (available at connects patients and loved ones to a vibrant online community that understands what it means to face melanoma, head on.

Inch by inch, year by year, and breakthrough by breakthrough, the melanoma field has made unprecedented progress that has transformed the way melanoma is diagnosed and treated. For many patients this progress is rewriting the book about what it means to face melanoma. However, there is still more to do.

Dr. Ashani Weeraratna and MRA Chief Science Officer Dr. Marc Hurlbert at the 2019 MRA Scientific Retreat

Dr. Pan Zheng and Dr. Lynn Schuchter at the 2019 MRA Scientific Retreat

That’s because for about half of patients with late-stage melanoma, the road ahead is still fraught with uncertainty. Despite the paradigm-busting progress that has been made, too many people still aren’t responding to any of the currently approved therapies.

MRA is moving full steam ahead by focusing on traditional areas of exploration such as drug development and predictive biomarkers, approaching stubborn challenges with new perspectives, and by leveraging new technology and science from all areas.

Patients diagnosed with melanoma today have more reasons than ever to be optimistic:

  • Advancements in melanoma research and available treatments—including targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and novel combinations—are on the rise.
  • In fact, 12 new treatment approaches have earned FDA approval since 2011.
  • And because of these new treatment options, people are living longer and healthier lives with melanoma. We are making great headway.
  • MRA continues to raise the bar by galvanizing unprecedented partnerships, support, and funding across academia, government, and industry to go even further, faster.