MRV Research – Melanoma Research Victoria https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au Wed, 23 Sep 2020 08:03:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cropped-favicon-32x32.png MRV Research – Melanoma Research Victoria https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au 32 32 Discovering new bait for the immune system may lead to additional treatments for melanoma. Congratulations Andreas Behren, Katherine Woods, Jonathan Cebon, Stephen Wong and colleagues https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/discovering-new-bait-for-the-immune-system-may-lead-to-additional-treatments-for-melanoma-congratulations-andreas-behren-katherine-woods-jonathan-cebon-stephen-wong-and-colleagues Wed, 23 Sep 2020 07:59:05 +0000 https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/?p=15641 A collaborative study, led by ONJCRI and the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) at Monash University, has uncovered new markers (HLA-associated peptides) that are uniquely present on melanoma tumours and could pave the way for therapeutic vaccines to be developed in the fight against melanoma.

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Source: Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, September 2020

A collaborative study, led by ONJCRI and the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) at Monash University, has uncovered new markers (HLA-associated peptides) that are uniquely present on melanoma tumours and could pave the way for therapeutic vaccines to be developed in the fight against melanoma.

Despite all improvements in melanoma treatment, every five hours one Australian dies because of the lack of effective treatment.

A promising new approach harnesses the body’s own immune system to detect and kill tumour cells, through recognition of small tumour specific protein fragments (peptides) that decorate the surface of the tumour cells. The study, published in Cancer Immunology Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, has successfully identified thousands of peptides uniquely present on melanoma tumours that can be recognised by the immune system.

READ THE ORIGINAL FULL ARTICLE

 

 

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New MRV Research: Researchers at Peter Mac have developed a simple liquid biopsy test…… https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/new-mrv-research-researchers-at-peter-mac-have-developed-a-simple-liquid-biopsy-test Wed, 13 Mar 2019 22:24:57 +0000 https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/?p=12966 Researchers at Peter Mac have developed a simple liquid biopsy test that can predict and monitor melanoma relapse following surgery.

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Researchers at Peter Mac have developed a simple liquid biopsy test that can predict and monitor melanoma relapse following surgery.

The study, led by Dr. Lavinia Tan, Dr Stephen Wong, Dr. Shahneen Sandhu and Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson, looked at stage III melanoma patients recruited to the Melanoma Research Victoria (MRV) cohort study, and involved a collaboration with Professor Richard Marias and Dr. Rebecca Lee from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, Manchester, UK.

More than 40% of stage III melanoma patients treated with surgery will relapse within 5 years. While patients can receive adjuvant treatment (such as immunotherapy or targeted therapy) that can significantly decrease the risk of melanoma returning, there are currently no tests that can predict which patients are at highest risk of relapse, to guide the delivery of adjuvant therapy to those most likely to benefit and avoid the toxicity of treatment in patients cured with surgery alone.

The study, published in Annals of Oncology, showed that the detection of small fragments of tumour DNA in a patient’s blood (called circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA)), after a tumour has been surgically removed, was associated with a high risk of melanoma relapse. Serial analysis of ctDNA also allowed real-time monitoring of disease recurrence with ctDNA detection preceding clinical relapse in 50% of the cases studied.

Whilst the study represents an initial proof of concept, the findings highlight the promising potential of ctDNA analysis to guide the frequency of radiological imaging surveillance and direct the delivery of adjuvant therapy. The incorporation of ctDNA analysis into several large clinical trials is currently underway to establish the clinical utility of this approach to inform adjuvant therapy decisions.

The research was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust.

Link to paper: L Tan, S Sandhu, R J Lee, J Li, J Callahan, S Ftouni, N Dhomen, P Middlehurst, A Wallace, J Raleigh, A Hatzimihalis, M A Henderson, M Shackleton, A Haydon, V Mar, D E Gyorki, D Oudit, M A Dawson, R J Hicks, P Lorigan, G A McArthur, R Marais, S Q Wong, S -J Dawson; Prediction and monitoring of relapse in stage III melanoma using circulating tumor DNA, Annals of Oncology,

mdz048, https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdz048

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MRV Resources https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/mrv-resources Wed, 08 Aug 2018 12:12:47 +0000 http://wellhosting.com.au/dev-mrv/?p=11667 MRV resources are only available due to the good will of the melanoma patients that have attended a clinic at a Melanoma Research Victoria (MRV) site and kindly consented to our project. We are very grateful to our >2500 participants who have contributed significantly to melanoma research in Victoria, nationally and internationally. MRV resources include: […]

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MRV resources are only available due to the good will of the melanoma patients that have attended a clinic at a Melanoma Research Victoria (MRV) site and kindly consented to our project. We are very grateful to our >2500 participants who have contributed significantly to melanoma research in Victoria, nationally and internationally.

MRV resources include: Biospecimens; Clinical Data; Follow Up Data; Research Genetic Mutation Data; Research Immunology Data; Medicare Data; Prescription Benefit Scheme Data; and Quality of Life Data.

MRV resources are available to all melanoma researchers working on collaborative MRV projects which have been approved by the MRV Governance Committee. (see MRV Specimen and Data Application Form)

Fees may be incurred by projects for retrieval or histology work. Researchers are reminded to include funding for biospecimens in their project budgets.

PARTICIPANTS

Stages I – IV >2500

BIOSPECIMENS

Bloods

  • Plasma
  • Serum
  • Blood Product (crude preparation of WBCs)
  • PBMCs (very limited collection)

Tissue

  • FFPE Primary melanomas
  • FFPE surgical specimens
  • Fresh Frozen tissue

*Project specific Biospecimens for approved MRV projects can be organised but will incur a cost to the project.

CLINICAL DATA

There are >150 fields of clinical data collected for each patient. Broadly the data is categorised under the following headings: Consent; Patient; Pathology; Surgery; Staging; Recurrence; Treatment; and Follow Up

Patients are consented on Lesion 1 – the lesion which they have been referred to a MRV site for. They may also have had previous and or subsequent lesions.

MEDICARE and PBS DATA

Since 2014 MRV participants have been asked if they will consent to MRV accessing their Medicare and Prescription Benefit Scheme information.

MRV currently has MBS and PBS data for 545 patients (date range 01/03/2014 to 31/12/2017), retrieved in March 2018.

MBS and PBS consenting is ongoing.

QUALITY OF LIFE (QOL) DATA

MRV participants are asked to fill in QOL questionnaires at consent, 3 months, 6 months, 12months then yearly. Collection of QOL data began in mid-2014.

Patients at all MRV sites complete the EORTC QLQC30 (30 items measuring quality of life for cancer patients).

Peter Mac patients (~500) also complete the SCNS-SF – 2 domains only: health system and information; patient care and support.

MRV QOL data has been entered into an Access database.

MOLECULAR DATA

MRV began testing melanoma primaries for BRAF, NRAS and CKIT mutations in 2010. With the advancement of technologies on our genomics platform the amount of mutational data collected per participant has increased. This research data is also available for collaborative projects.

IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY DATA

The MRV I-O platform is utilising the latest technologies to better understand the immune system’s response to cancer within the immunotherapy setting. MRV is very interested in collaborating and sharing data in this space.

For further details regarding access MRV resources please contact the MRV Manager:
Sonia Mailer
Sonia.Mailer@petermac.org
03 8559 96678

MRV Specimen and Data Application Form_Version 2_20171016

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Rapid liquid biopsies for melanoma patients https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/rapid-liquid-biopsies-for-melanoma-patients Mon, 06 Aug 2018 14:31:18 +0000 http://wellhosting.com.au/dev-mrv/?p=11622 The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) is using blood test technology from Bio-Rad Laboratories to detect and analyse cancer genes in melanoma patients.

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Source: Lab + Life Scientist, December 2016

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) is using blood test technology from Bio-Rad Laboratories to detect and analyse cancer genes in melanoma patients. The blood test, called a ‘liquid biopsy’, is essentially a blood sample that researchers can use to detect fragments of circulating tumour DNA that carries certain mutations in the BRAF gene.

For advanced (Stage 4) melanoma, it is critical that a patient is treated as soon as possible. But finding out if a patient has a BRAF V600E or BRAF V600K mutation from a tissue biopsy takes between usually 2–3 weeks. A liquid biopsy can provide the same information in less than three days — or even within 24 hours in urgent cases. And if a patient tests positive for the gene mutation, their doctor can prescribe a drug that targets the mutated BRAF protein.

read the original full article

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Australian First Melanoma Blood Test To Save Lives https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/australian-first-melanoma-blood-test-to-save-lives Mon, 06 Aug 2018 07:01:19 +0000 http://wellhosting.com.au/dev-mrv/?p=11618 Victorians will be the first in Australia to access a revolutionary new blood test to diagnose melanoma sooner and give patients the best chance of survival.

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Source: Premier of Victoria, November 2016

Victorians will be the first in Australia to access a revolutionary new blood test to diagnose melanoma sooner and give patients the best chance of survival.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced that the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) will be the first accredited laboratory in the country to administer the life-saving test.

read the original full article

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Australian Stage 3 melanoma patients forced to self-fund recurrent treatment while PBS makes decision on listing https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/australian-stage-3-melanoma-patients-forced-to-self-fund-recurrent-treatment-while-pbs-makes-decision-on-listing Mon, 09 Jul 2018 22:00:38 +0000 https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/?p=11431 AN AUSTRALIAN man has said the decision to pay $100,000 to self-fund his own treatment was more stressful than being told he had cancer.

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Source: news.com.au , June 2018

AN AUSTRALIAN man has said the decision to pay $100,000 to self-fund his own treatment was more stressful than being told he had cancer.

The news comes as patients struggle to afford prevention treatment while regulators battle to keep up with the latest in breakthrough cancer research.

read the original full article

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Oncolytic Virus Plus Ipilimumab Improves Responses in Advanced Melanoma https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/oncolytic-virus-plus-ipilimumab-improves-responses-in-advanced-melanoma Tue, 03 Jul 2018 07:03:12 +0000 https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/?p=11365 The combination of an oncolytic virus known as talimogene laherparepvec with ipilimumab yielded a significantly higher response rate than ipilimumab alone in a phase II study of patients with advanced melanoma.

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Source: Cancer Network, June 2018

The combination of an oncolytic virus known as talimogene laherparepvec with ipilimumab yielded a significantly higher response rate than ipilimumab alone in a phase II study of patients with advanced melanoma. This was the first randomized trial to test such a combination.

Talimogene laherparepvec is a genetically modified herpes simplex virus type 1; it expresses the immunostimulatory cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. “Talimogene laherparepvec and ipilimumab enhance T-cell activation through different mechanisms,” wrote study authors led by Jason Chesney, MD, PhD, of the J. Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. “Talimogene laherparepvec is designed to increase tumor-specific immune activation by improving antigen presentation and T-cell priming, whereas CTLA-4 blockade with ipilimumab promotes T-cell expansion.”

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National Skin Cancer Action Week 19-25 November 2018 https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/national-skin-cancer-action-week-19-25-november-2018 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 03:34:15 +0000 http://melbournemelanomaproject.com/?p=10036 Ahead of this year’s National Skin Cancer Action Week, MMP clinicians and researchers descended on Brisbane for a joint meeting of the 9th World Congress of Melanoma and 14th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research – the world’s largest congress on melanoma with over 1500 delegates from 53 countries.

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Ahead of this year’s National Skin Cancer Action Week, MMP clinicians and researchers descended on Brisbane for a joint meeting of the 9th World Congress of Melanoma and 14th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research – the world’s largest congress on melanoma with over 1500 delegates from 53 countries.
There was also an emphasis on patient experiences, with three consumer sessions, the Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) Patient Forum and the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) Global Coalition meeting.
MMP was strongly represented across the Congress programme, with 14 talks, 8 session chairs and 18 posters, and over 50 researchers, clinical staff and consumer representatives in attendance.
Melanoma research has boomed in recent years, with 40 papers on melanoma published in the top journal Nature in the past 12 months.
More than 2,000 people in Australia die from skin cancer each year, and Cancer Council estimates that Australia spends more than $1 billion per year treating skin cancer, with costs increasing substantially over the past few years.
Yet most skin cancers can be prevented by the use of good sun protection.
To encourage Australians to remember to use the five forms of sun protection, Cancer Council Australia is inviting everyone to join the #SunSmartGeneration.
Today’s children have grown up with the SunSmart message and are our most sun savvy generation ever. Parents understand the importance of protecting their little one’s skin with rashies, hats, sunglasses, shade and sunscreen. However, it’s important that adults protect their own skin too. It’s never too late to prevent further damage and parents play an important role in setting a good example for their kids.
Australians of all ages are urged to use the five forms of sun protection. These are to:

  • slip on sun-protective clothing
  • slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen
  • slap on a broad-brimmed hat
  • seek shade
  • slide on sunglasses.

A combination of these measures, along with getting to know your skin and regularly checking for any changes, are the keys to reducing your skin cancer risk.
Source:
http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/campaigns-and-events/national-skin-cancer-action-week.html

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Vote for Jessica Duarte, one of MMP’s awesome young scientists. https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/vote-jessica-duarte-one-mmps-awesome-young-scientists Fri, 31 Mar 2017 05:54:46 +0000 http://melbournemelanomaproject.com/?p=8534 Summary of her project: Melanoma, known as Australia’s national cancer, is the deadliest type of skin cancer with the highest rates being reported in Australia and New Zealand (~60 cases per 100 000 individuals per year). Locally, melanoma is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young Australians aged between 15 and 39 years, making […]

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Summary of her project

Melanoma, known as Australia’s national cancer, is the deadliest type of skin cancer with the highest rates being reported in Australia and New Zealand (~60 cases per 100 000 individuals per year). Locally, melanoma is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young Australians aged between 15 and 39 years, making up 20% of all cancer cases and killing more of these individuals than any other single cancer.

Recent advances in melanoma treatment include novel immunotherapies targeting key immunological checkpoints. This treatment has led to previously unobserved objective and durable clinical responses across a subset of melanoma patients, but approximately half of all patients fail to have any benefit. The detection of therapeutic success – usually using image-based techniques – often takes time, and can be misinforming. Biomarkers of therapeutic response that can (i) accurately identify patients that are responding or not to a specific treatment and (ii) inform necessary alternative interventions, such as radiotherapy, are therefore urgently needed.

Read More and Vote for Jessica Duarte

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Investigating Lentigo Maligna https://melanomaresearchvic.com.au/investigating-lentigo-maligna Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:12:15 +0000 http://melbournemelanomaproject.com/?p=7988 Lentigo maliga is a type of in-situ (superficial) melanoma which often presents a treatment challenge as it commonly occurs on cosmetically sensitive areas of the head and neck of elderly patients and may require several surgical procedures to achieve adequate clearance.

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Lentigo maliga is a type of in-situ (superficial) melanoma which often presents a treatment challenge as it commonly occurs on cosmetically sensitive areas of the head and neck of elderly patients and may require several surgical procedures to achieve adequate clearance. Whilst in-situ disease does not pose a risk of spreading (metastasis), if left untreated it can become invasive and more dangerous. Surgery is therefore the gold-standard for treatment, however topical imiquimod cream and radiotherapy are other options.

Imiquimod cream works by activating the immune system to fight the superficial melanoma. The Victorian Melanoma Service conducted a trial of the use of imiquimod cream for treatment of LM followed by complete surgical excision of the lesion 1 month post treatment to assess histological clearance1. Whilst the cream is successful in treating the disease for some patients, it is not effective in all.

This MMP study aims to better understand the immunological characteristics in patients who respond to imiquimod treatment compared to those who do not respond. This will involve both immunohistochemical and gene expression assays to explore immunological and microenvironmental predictors of response. This may give some insight into which immune regulators are important in fighting early stage melanoma and which patients are more likely to respond to topical immunotherapy for in-situ disease and can therefore safely avoid potentially disfiguring surgery.

1. Ly L, Kelly JW, O’Keefe R, et al. Efficacy of imiquimod cream, 5%, for lentigo maligna after complete excision: a study of 43 patients. Arch Dermatol. Oct 2011;147(10):1191-1195.

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