Approaches to Neoadjuvant Treatment in Melanoma: A Public Workshop Organized by the FDA and MRA
On November 6, 2019, the FDA and the Melanoma Research Alliance co-hosted a public workshop to identify, discuss, and address key issues, challenges and opportunities in the pursuit of neoadjuvant therapies for patients with surgically resectable melanoma. This exciting, half-day workshop brought together clinicians, researchers, regulators, and patient advocates to explore opportunities and discuss challenges in the development of neoadjuvant therapies for melanoma. The workshop took place at National Harbor (outside of Washington, D.C.) with opportunities to participate in person and via simultaneous webcast.
Mutations and Melanoma
Cancer is caused by mutations in our DNA that allow cells to grow uncontrollably – and eventually invade surrounding tissue. Melanoma is a specific type of cancer that is formed in pigment-containing cells, known as melanocytes, which are found primarily in the skin but also in places like the eye and on mucous membranes. Thanks to advancements in research, the same mutations that cause cancer are proving helpful in treating it.
Bob Enrolls in Clinical Trial Testing NeoAdjuvant Therapy for Melanoma
After being diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma, Bob chose to enroll in a clinical trial at Georgetown University, comparing the effectiveness of treating melanoma with pembrolizumab before or after surgery, what doctors call neo-adjuvant and adjuvant therapy respectively.
MRA is Raising the Treatment Bar
We have made unprecedented progress that is transforming what it means to be diagnosed with melanoma. Today, we have more treatment options than ever before—in fact 12 new options have earned FDA approval since MRA's founding. But, it's still not enough.
Imaging the Immune Response in Melanoma
7 October 2019 In Science
We are fortunate to now have effective immune therapies for many melanoma patients. But unfortunately, we also now know that these treatments can often cause serious side effects, like diabetes and colitis, among other reactions. Consequently, there has been a push to develop a way to detect early on if...
SPORE Grants: Putting Collaboration Front & Center
In medicine, sometimes the biggest and most game-changing advancements come from a single person – who through tireless work – arrives at a true ‘eureka’ moment. This ‘go it alone’ concept is not only reinforced through television and movies, it’s also bolstered in the way the medical community makes research...
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.