Melanoma research reaches a milestone

Melanoma research reaches a milestone

21 March 2017

Melanoma research has reached a milestone with the 10,000th patient giving their permission for their blood and tissue samples to be used in the world’s largest melanoma biospecimen bank. 

Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has been collecting samples from melanoma patients since 1999 and now has an incredible resource that is powering melanoma research here and around the globe. Together with patient records, the samples add enormous value to the clinical stories of our patients and drive discovery and translational research that will, in turn, provide answers to the clinical questions plaguing our doctors.

“When a patient first presents to MIA, we don't have the crystal ball to predict what their journey is going to be like,” says Biospecimen Bank Manager, Valerie Jakrot (pictured). “We now know that melanoma is not just one disease, and so we must look at the molecular level to understand the differences between each type.”

Because of the large number of samples collected, MIA and collaborators from around the world have access to a wide variety of different types of melanoma, including some of the rarer forms, growing our understanding of the disease. In addition, a large number of samples are needed to test and confirm hypotheses in research, and so the Biospecimen Bank’s magnitude is invaluable.

Personalised medicine

By using the samples to identify which genes drive the disease, researchers will gain a better understanding to improve patient outcomes. This is the basis of personalised medicine.

“By finding out which genes are involved in causing a patient’s melanoma, we will be able to better predict the course of the disease and identify which treatment will be most effective for the patient,” says Valerie. “This knowledge will change the management of patients from the very beginning, ensuring the best possible outcome is reached.”

Collaborations

Biospecimen Bank samples have also been used in a number of key research projects, including the Australian Melanoma Genome Project, which is mapping the entire genome of 500 melanomas. Our samples have contributed significantly to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a five year study of tumours from over 300 patients around the world. In addition, data has been made available to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), which is seeking to understand the genetic causes of 50 different cancer types.

Contributions making a difference

As the largest collection of melanoma blood and tissue samples in the world, the Biospecimen Bank would not have been established without significant resources from MIA. Being a specialised treatment centre, MIA has access to a large number of patients who generously consent to being part of this endeavour. Without the support of our patients, and donors who see the long-term potential of this project, the Biospecimen Bank simply wouldn’t exist.

Professor Richard Scolyer recognised in The Pathologist's 2020 Power List.
03 Aug 2020

Professor Richard Scolyer recognised in The Pathologist's 2020 Power List.

For the 2nd consecutive year, MIA's Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer has been selected in the top 100 best, brightest, and most powerful advocates of pathology by The Pathologist.

Tags: melanoma
Important Update: Masks required at Poche Centre
24 Jul 2020

Important Update: Masks required at Poche Centre

As of Monday 27th July all patients and carers/family members coming into The Poche Centre will be required to bring their own mask. 

Tags: melanoma
A Critical Nexus:The Clinician and the Researcher.
14 Jul 2020

A Critical Nexus:The Clinician and the Researcher.

In a recent issue of Cancer Cell journal, Prof Georgina Long AO and Prof Richard Scolyer discuss the challenge of bringing together clinical work and scientific research to underpin successful cancer research.    

Tags: melanoma
New online calculator launched to determine risk of spread of melanoma
15 Jun 2020

New online calculator launched to determine risk of spread of melanoma

Clinicians around the world now have access to a new online calculator that predicts the risk that a patient’s primary melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Tags: melanoma
Queen's Birthday Honour for Professor Georgina Long
08 Jun 2020

Queen's Birthday Honour for Professor Georgina Long

Professor Long has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for  distinguished service to medicine, particularly, to melanoma clinical and translational research, and to professional medical societies. 

Tags: melanoma
Danny's inspiring survival story
30 May 2020

Danny's inspiring survival story

“I had a complete response within about six months. All of my tumours disappeared."

Tags: melanoma
MIA in the spotlight at ASCO virtual conference
30 May 2020

MIA in the spotlight at ASCO virtual conference

‘We are extremely proud of our ongoing contribution to the global effort to save lives from melanoma, with Dr Silva’s prestigious award proof that we continue to lead the way,'

Tags: melanoma
Professor Richard Scolyer achieves h-index of 100
26 May 2020

Professor Richard Scolyer achieves h-index of 100

MIA's Co-Medical Director, Professor Richard Scolyer, has achieved a Google Scholar h-index of 100.

How we connected at Melanoma March Virtual 2020
21 Apr 2020

See how we connected at Melanoma March Virtual 2020

We know what Melanoma March means to our community, so when we had to cancel our physical events, we created Melanoma March Virtual so that everyone across Australia could still connect to honour loved ones and support each other.

Melanoma meets its match.
07 Apr 2020

Melanoma meets its match.

A must-read personal account by Garry Maddox in The Sydney Morning Herald of how immunotherapy is revolutionising melanoma treatment.  

 

Next Steps for National Screening Program for Melanoma
23 Mar 2020

Next Steps for National Screening Program for Melanoma

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 Update
13 Mar 2020

Melanoma March Update

Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.   

Saving lives this summer: 'Game On Mole!'
11 Mar 2020

Saving lives this summer: 'Game On Mole!'

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.

PBS boost for melanoma patients
01 Mar 2020

PBS boost for melanoma patients

Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.

An open letter to all young Australians
25 Feb 2020

An open letter to all young Australians

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.

MIA leads world-class skin tumour pathology conference
14 Feb 2020

MIA leads world-class skin tumour pathology conference

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’.

MAFS, it is time for a reality check on solariums.
07 Feb 2020

MAFS, it is time for a reality check on solariums.

It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.

Community Fundraising January Wrap-Up
07 Feb 2020

Community Fundraising January Wrap-Up

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.

Kyly Clarke urges Aussies to step up to save lives from melanoma
03 Feb 2020

Kyly Clarke urges Aussies to step up to save lives 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.

Improving support for our patients across Australia.
03 Feb 2020

Improving support for our patients across Australia.

Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.