Breast cancer drug may hold key to tackling most deadly type of melanoma
23 July 2019
Barbara Holland tried everything to stop headaches for months before her doctor sent her for an MRI. Her scans showed a tumour in her sinus
Mucosal melanoma, which occurs on the inner surfaces of the body such as the mouth, nose and anogenital region and
Now, an Australian-led international team of researchers has discovered that a drug traditionally used to treat a
The international study, led by researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and The University of Sydney as part of the Australian Melanoma Genome Project, has uncovered the diverse genetic drivers for mucosal melanoma
Lead study author Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital says the study allowed researchers to not only look for new drug targets, but
“We now understand the genetic drivers of mucosal
“The ramifications of this study are immense and are critical in us reaching our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.”
Published online at Nature Communications, the study detailed the genetic analysis of 67 mucosal melanoma tumours from patients from Australia, China, the United States and Europe. Using both whole-genome sequencing and whole-
“While advancements in treatment have drastically improved survival outcomes for cutaneous (or skin) melanoma patients, those treatments do not work as well for mucosal melanoma patients,” Professor Scolyer added.
“But now we can build our treatment arsenal for this group of patients
The study also found
“I’m one of the lucky ones,” said Barbara.
“This news is so exciting for other mucosal patients and their families.
While rare in Western populations like in Australia, where it makes up less than 2% of all melanoma cases, mucosal melanoma makes up a third
A previous study also coming from the Australian Melanoma Genome Project found that mucosal melanoma
There are no known risk factors for mucosal melanoma, making prevention strategies difficult. It
“The next exciting step is for Melanoma Institute Australia to develop a clinical trial to test classes of drugs and their effectiveness for treating mucosal melanoma,” said study author Professor Georgina Long, Co-Medical Director Melanoma Institute Australia The University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital
“This is the new frontier in melanoma treatment, with very real benefits for patients internationally, and we are proud to be leading the world in saving lives.”
Barbara is no longer on treatment and comes to MIA for three monthly scans.
“It’s amazing to know that there could soon be new treatments for this horrible disease. I think the best part about this discovery is that it gives hope,” said Barbara.
On Friday, a publication that lays out the steps needed to find out if a systematic screening program for melanoma would benefit all Australians was published in the Australia & New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
Thank you to the thousands of Aussies who bought ‘Game On Mole‘ t-shirts, took selfies, shared t-shirt pics on social media and started lifesaving conversations around sun safety and skin health.
Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.
Brisbane couple Leon and Tamra Betts were, like thousands of others around Australia, on the couch watching MAFS when newlywed Natasha ran through her weekly beauty routine. When they heard the 26-year-old mention solarium use, they were shocked, and then saddened, prompting this open letter to all young Australians.
Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia, will welcome international attendees this weekend to a sold-out, two-day course on ‘Pigmented Lesions and Other Hot Topics in Dermatopathology’.
It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.
Throughout January our community created, hosted and participated in some amazing events, each of them helping us on our quest to reach zero deaths from melanoma.
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.
Melanoma patients and their families across Western Australia will benefit from strengthened and expanded services with the merging of melanomaWA and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Australian researchers have played a critical role in the discovery of a potential new test to predict which early stage melanoma patients are at high risk of their disease recurring and progressing.
We are extremely grateful for our community fundraisers, who, even in this difficult time, have given up their time and effort to fundraise so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.
Melanoma patients are set to benefit from subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients.
An informative article on how immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, written by Jill Margo and featured in the Australian Financial Review.
Melanoma patients and their families in the Riverina will benefit from strengthened and sustained melanoma services with the merger of the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Belmont High School at Lake Macquarie has been announced winner of the 2019 SunSafe Student Ambassador Program video competition.
It’s time again to say thank you to our amazing community fundraisers!
Videos of the sessions at the recent Patient Information Evening co-hosted by Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) are now available for viewing.
MIA is well-represented in the poster sessions at the Society for Melanoma Research 2019 Congress in the USA, with four poster presentations being given by members of our translational research lab.