Category: Science


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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Are Nanoparticles the Answer to the Question: Is it Working? An Interview with MRA Young Investigator, Dr. Ashish Kulkarni

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 4 October 2017 In Science

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?’

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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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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.

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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.

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Melanoma Treatments: Breakthroughs for Multiple Cancers — for Real and Right Now

By Louise M. Perkins, Ph.D., MRA Chief Science Officer | 10 July 2017 In Science, Treatment

While 2014 and 2015 offered a whirlwind of good news related to new melanoma treatments from immune to targeted therapy, since then, it’s been a bit quieter in melanoma. Although there has been exceptional news in regard to other cancers. Why is that, and what are the latest breakthroughs?

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Melanoma Research Alliance and the American Cancer Society Forge Research Partnership to Maximize Immunotherapy Benefit to Patients

By Pamela Goldsmith, MRA Director of Communications | 10 July 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Science

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are partnering to fund much-needed research aimed at decreasing rare, but serious, side effects associated with checkpoint inhibitors in hopes of increasing further cancer immunotherapy benefit to patients.

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The Genetics of Melanoma Goes Deep

By Kristen Mueller, Ph.D., MRA Scientific Program Director | 6 June 2017 In News, Science, Treatment

Due to the rapid advancements in DNA sequencing technologies, our understanding of the underlying genetic causes of cancer has increased substantially in the past decade. In the case of melanoma, researchers have now characterized in great detail the genetic changes that occur within tumor cells in melanoma of the skin, leading to the FDA approval of drugs targeting mutations in BRAF and MEK.

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What Gut Bacteria Tell Us About Treating Melanoma and Other Cancers

By Pamela Goldsmith, MRA Director of Communications | 3 April 2017 In News, Science, Treatment

Despite success in the use of immunotherapy to treat cancer by harnessing the body’s immune system to fight it, a major difficulty continues to be the range of responses to treatment among patients. It’s why researchers are exploring why some cancer patients exhibit astounding results with little side effects while others receive no benefits to the treatment and/or experience severe side effects.

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The Power of Combination Therapies: One Patient’s Road to Remission

By Pooja H. Rambhia, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University | 28 February 2017 In Science, Treatment

Metastatic melanoma can be a devastating diagnosis to receive. Just hearing the word cancer for most is terrifying. While the fear is understandable, today new targeted therapies and immunotherapies are delivering new hope for many.

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