Using Zebrafish to Shed New Light on Melanoma
Dr. Liz Patton, a MRA-funded cancer researcher at the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh, is fascinated by learning how things work. Patton has focused her research on better understanding how melanocytes – the cells in our skin that provide us our coloring – develop, divide, migrate, and in some unfortunate circumstances, proliferate uncontrollably turning into melanoma. Her work is providing critical insight into the origin of melanoma and what spurs melanoma to spread throughout the body.
Maintaining the Pace of Melanoma Innovation in the Era of an Evolving Standard of Care
By Louise M. Perkins, Ph.D., MRA Chief Science Officer | 10 August 2018 In Science, Treatment
There is no doubt that treatments for metastatic melanoma have changed dramatically in the decade since MRA’s founding in 2007. How do we keep up the momentum?
Uveal ‘Clusters’ in Auburn, AL and Huntersville, NC
When we talk about melanoma, it’s easy to forget that cutaneous – the most common variety that forms on the skin – isn’t the only game in town. Uveal represents about 5% of all melanomas diagnosed each year. So, when dozens of people from two towns in North Carolina and Alabama were diagnosed with the rare cancer alarm bells sounded.
We’ve Teamed Up with the American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society and Melanoma Research Alliance have united to fund lifesaving research aimed at reducing side effects and improving outcomes for patients treated with immunotherapy.
American Cancer Society and Melanoma Research Alliance Fund Five Innovative Approaches to Reduce Immunotherapy Side Effects
As the world marks Melanoma Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) selected the first group of scientists to receive newly established research grants to investigate how to reduce rare, but serious, side effects resulting from cancer treatments with checkpoint inhibitors, a type of immunotherapy.
Tackling Brain Metastases
Brain metastases (mets) are a frequent and often deadly problem in patients with advanced melanoma. Nearly 40% of patients with metastatic melanoma have brain mets at diagnosis, with an average survival of only 4 months, suggesting a crucial need for treatments that can rid the brain of these tumors1,2. But new cancer treatments are rarely tested in patients with active brain mets. This is largely due to concerns about whether these patients will have side effects unique to brain mets, and poorer outcomes that may negatively weigh against otherwise positive clinical benefits. Another potential concern is whether the drugs will even penetrate the brain, which has a fortress-like ability to keep substances from entering it.
Are Personalized Vaccines Part of a New Combination Approach to Treating Melanoma?
Bracing for cold weather and the threat of runny noses and sore throats, millions of Americans are vaccinated for the flu each year. By priming the immune system, the vaccine reduces the risk of catching the flu and, if not successful at preventing it altogether, reduces both the severity and the duration of symptoms. These are ‘one-size-fits-all’ vaccines that are useful for all people. But what if each and every person’s flu, like each person’s melanoma, was unique? You’d need a personalized vaccine that was made and customized for each individual. Dr. Patrick Ott, Clinical Director of the Melanoma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and lead researcher on the BJ's Wholesale Club-MRA Team Science Award, is conducting pioneering research to harness the power of personalized vaccines to combat melanoma.