Treating Melanoma Patients Before Surgery
Over 90% of patients who have their tumors surgically removed will never see their tumors come back or spread to other sites, but is there a way to prevent recurrence in those patients that will eventually go on to relapse? One approach currently being tested in clinical trials, termed neoadjuvant therapy, is to treat early stage patients with targeted or immunotherapy before surgical removal of their tumor.
A Better Combination?
The FDA's 2015 approval of the first ever checkpoint immunotherapy combination of ipilimumab + nivolumab was considered a major breakthrough. Since then, research has shown that the combo yields slightly better results at the cost of increased side effects. Now, a new study asks if we can optimize the dose to produce the same effects with fewer side effects.
New Models for Testing Melanoma Drugs and Vaccines
Before experimental drugs and vaccines can ever be tested in people, they must first be studied in models of the disease. These models allow researchers to investigate scientific questions that they cannot answer using people due to unknown risks.
Can We Combine Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy for Better Results?
By Kristen Mueller, Ph.D., MRA Scientific Program Director | 25 June 2019 In Science, Treatment
Researchers are now considering how to build upon the success of immune-based and targeted therapies to help even more patients live longer, healthier lives. This month, several studies reported on efforts to combine PD-1 based immunotherapy with BRAF/MEKi targeted therapy to form the first ‘triple combos’ in melanoma.
For too many patients, the incredible responses they experience from targeted and immunotherapies don't last. Resistance is a real challenge. At the MRA 2019 Scientific Retreat, several researchers reported on research funded by MRA to identify new ways to combat drug resistance, including a number of strategies that are already being tested in the clinic.
Mohs Surgery for Melanoma In Situ – Where We Stand
While effective and time tested, Wide Local Excision can cause significant scarring and even loss of function when performed in delicate areas. For non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, an alternative ‘tissue-sparing’ procedure is frequently performed called Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Can Mohs Surgery be safely used in melanoma in situ?
Fighting For Her Life with a Clinical trial
Colleen Wittoesch was a regular volunteer at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She came to the hospital every week to help out and spend time with patients and families in the melanoma clinic for going on seven years. Little did she know that in 2016 she too would walk through the clinic doors as a patient.
Highlights from the 2019 Scientific Retreat
Over the course of three days, MRA convened over 300 people from across the melanoma research community: patients, doctors, researchers, industry, and government. Participants discussed everything from new treatment approaches such as RNA-based vaccines, strategies to fight back against treatment resistance, and hurdles to testing neo-adjuvant therapies in melanoma.
Clinical Trials to Watch: Turning Cold Tumors Hot
By Kristen Mueller, Ph.D., MRA Scientific Program Director | 15 May 2019 In Science, Treatment
We know that the billions of bacteria that live in our bodies can impact the way we respond to immunotherapy, but can we harness this help more patients respond these life-saving drugs?
Research is Hope: MRA Announces $8.2 Million for New Grant Awards to Advance Melanoma Research
In advance of Melanoma Awareness Month, the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research, today announced funding for 33 innovative research awards totaling $8.26 million.