Melanoma Institute part of $14m melanoma project grant

Melanoma Institute part of $14m melanoma project grant

25 March 2015

Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Sussan Ley, announced more than $14 million in funding for a research program to study the molecular determinants of risk, progression and treatment response in melanoma.

The research, funded as part of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Program scheme, will commence in 2016 and will be administered through Macquarie University in Sydney. The team’s investigators are largely based at the University of Sydney, as well as the Centenary Institute, the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research, and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

All investigators are part of MIA, the world’s largest cancer centre dedicated to research and treatment of melanoma, and have been linked as a NHMRC Program since 2006. Treating 1900 new melanoma patients annually, the MIA’s repository of clinical research data and melanoma biospecimens is the largest in the world. 

Lead researcher Professor Rick Kefford from MIA and Macquarie University said the project had real prospects of accelerating prevention and early detection of melanoma.

“In this era of rapid change the program could make realistic progress towards a cure of metastatic disease,” Professor Kefford said.

MIA tumour samples and data from people receiving targeted and immune treatments for melanoma are driving these promising advances. The Program has also recruited thousands of people from the community, and families with a strong history of melanoma, to lead discovery of melanoma risk genes.

“In the last few years our program has helped drive large-scale genomic analysis of melanoma, and this will continue to be a cornerstone of our research,” says Professor Graham Mann of MIA, Westmead Millennium Institute and the University of Sydney. “These approaches have already been highly successful, and we have great hopes for better prevention, detection and treatment of melanoma in the future,” he said.
 

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