“Hands down, I’m alive today because of clinical trials”
Jamie Goldfarb didn’t think of herself as having cancer. Yes, she had been diagnosed with Stage II melanoma four years earlier and Stage III the following year, but the surgeries to remove it had been successful. The PET scans that followed had been normal. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Jamie was now a tired new mom with an eleven-week old baby and she was ready to get back to work. But, her world would turn upside down when she learned that not only was melanoma back, but it had progressed to Stage IV and spread to her liver and pancreas.
Changing the Status Quo: Four Landmark Studies and their Implication for Melanoma Treatment
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.
Ten Years of Powerful Research and Results
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.
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.
Are Nanoparticles the Answer to the Question: Is it Working? An Interview with MRA Young Investigator, Dr. Ashish Kulkarni
When we think about cancer researchers, we don’t always think of engineers. Dr. Ashish Kulkarni proves that maybe, we should. His pioneering work as a chemical engineer is helping us answer the critical, yet difficult to answer question that is at the forefront of every patient’s mind as they start treatment: ‘is it working?’
Bristol-Myers Squibb Funds Two MRA Young Investigator Awards in Immuno-Oncology
By Kristen Mueller, Ph.D., MRA Scientific Program Director | 6 September 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Science, Treatment
MRA is pleased to announce Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has provided generous support for two Young Investigator Awards from our 2016-2017 grant cycle. The recipients of the Bristol-Myers Squibb - MRA Young Investigator Award are Dr. Erica Stone of The Wistar Institute and Dr. Manuel Valiente of Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas Carlos III. MRA’s independent panel of academic experts selected these two immuno-oncology research programs to receive funding in 2017.
Measuring Progress: Skin Cancer Prevention in the United States
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.
L’Oréal Paris USA-MRA Team Scientists shed light on how melanoma spreads
By Kristen Mueller, Ph.D., MRA Scientific Program Director | 29 August 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Science, Treatment
MRA is extremely proud of the 289 investigators we have funded over the last decade and the exciting advances they have made toward ending suffering and death due to melanoma. While we can never highlight all of them at one time, we’re excited in this blog to highlight the work of the L’Oreal Paris USA sponsored MRA Team award.
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.
Why so much excitement about CAR-T cells?
By Kristen Mueller, Ph.D., MRA Scientific Program Director | 18 July 2017 In News, Science, Treatment
July 12, 2017, marked a historic day for medicine and for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when an expert advisory committee to the FDA unanimously endorsed the first ever genetically engineered, cell-based therapy for use in patients.