Category: News


The Microbiome, is it the Deciding Factor for Immunotherapy Success?

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 10 January 2018 In News, Science

It's been nearly seven years since the first FDA-approved checkpoint inhibitor for melanoma came on the market and doctors, researchers, and patients all keep asking: "who is most likely to benefit from immunotherapy? How can we make this work for more people?" Thankfully, the answer may be closer than we thought and the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other bugs - which make up our microbiome - may have something to say about it.

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FDA Approves Nivolumab in Adjuvant Setting - Is it a Big Deal?

By Louise M. Perkins, Ph.D., MRA Chief Science Officer | 21 December 2017 In News, Science, Treatment

The US FDA approved the use of nivolumab (Opdivo) in the adjuvant setting on December 20, 2017. This means that nivolumab may be used to treat melanoma patients with lymph node involvement or metastatic disease after complete surgical resection to reduce the risk of their disease recurring.

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Introducing Clinical Trial Navigator: Start Searching Today

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 5 December 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, News, Science, Treatment

At MRA, we know that advancing science is our best bet in the fight against melanoma. More than 87,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with melanoma this year, and with these numbers on the rise, researchers are working harder than ever to find new and better treatment options. In fact, there are over 300 clinical trials happening in melanoma right now.

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Connecting the Dots – Clinical Trials and Patient Engagement

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 15 November 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, News

MRA is thrilled to announce the launch of the Melanoma > Exchange, a melanoma treatment and research focused discussion group and support community. Through the Melanoma > Exchange, anyone touched by Melanoma can find support, ask questions, and build community among people who share a similar experience.

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Changing the Status Quo: Four Landmark Studies and their Implication for Melanoma Treatment

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 13 November 2017 In News, Science

The crown jewel of the Melanoma Research Alliance has always been—and will always be—good science. Through science, we not only gain a better understanding of melanoma, but the ability to translate that understanding into better treatments, which in turn lead to a better quality of life for people with melanoma. At MRA, solid scientific leadership is at the forefront of everything we do. That’s why the MRA Board of Directors was thrilled to hear a presentation by fellow Board member and world-class researcher, Dr. Suzanne Topalian, on four landmark studies and their implications for melanoma treatment.

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Ten Years of Powerful Research and Results

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 13 November 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, News, Prevention, Science

In 2007, when Debra Black was diagnosed with Stage II melanoma, there were few treatment options. In fact, for those diagnosed with late-stage melanoma, only two FDA-Approved treatment options existed, and they only provided a 16% chance at five-year survival. After dealing with her own health concerns, she and her husband knew that they could-and needed- to do more. That’s why later that year they worked with Mike Milken to found MRA and transform the melanoma landscape.

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Spotlight on Immunotherapy: Genetic Makeup of Tumors Informs use of anti-PD-1 drugs for Multiple Cancer Types

By Pooja H. Rambhia, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University | 6 October 2017 In News, Science, Treatment

Imagine the powerlessness one must feel after undergoing rigorous treatment for cancer only to find that your tumor is non-responsive. However – new hope may be on the horizon. In May 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to Pembrolizumab for treatmentof patients whose cancers possess a genetic mutation in the mismatch repair pathway (mismatch repair deficient, or dMMR) or are microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H). This is the first time the agency approved a cancer treatment based on a common biomarker rather than the location in the body where the tumor originated.

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A Mother’s Perspective: New Options for Pediatric Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 September 2017 In Melanoma Stories, News, Treatment

When Cheryl Trocke’s nine-year old son Graham was diagnosed with melanoma four years ago, she quickly learned that when it comes to kids, there were no great treatment options and that care can vary greatly based on where your child is treated. After surgically removing the primary tumor, Graham’s doctors suggested a treatment plan of ‘wait and see.’

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Measuring Progress: Skin Cancer Prevention in the United States

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 September 2017 In News, Prevention, Science

On July 29 2014, Dr. Boris Lushniak, the then acting U.S. Surgeon General at, issued a landmark call to action when he declared skin cancer as a major public health problem. He called on everyone, from government agencies to community-based organizations to schools to come together to increase awareness of skin cancer and ways to reduce risk. Since the Call to Action, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an annual report each year documenting progress, celebrating success, and identifying areas where improvement is needed. The key areas of the Call to Action and the update from the CDC 2017 Progress Report are highlighted below.

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MRA Announces its Tenth Annual Request for Proposals

By Kristen Mueller, Ph.D., MRA Scientific Program Director | 14 August 2017 In News, Science, Treatment

MRA is pleased to announce our 2017/18 Request for Proposals (RFP). As in prior years, MRA seeks high-impact pre-clinical, translational, and early clinical research that has the potential to lead to near-term impact in melanoma prevention, detection, diagnosis, staging, and treatment.

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