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

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.

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