MIA contributes to major research breakthrough which pioneers a new way of treating cancer

MIA contributes to major research breakthrough which pioneers a new way of treating cancer

1 June 2015

 

Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has had a strong presence at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) congress in Chicago; where the best ever results seen in metastatic melanoma treatment clinical trial have been presented. Two large international trials, to which MIA contributed, have shown that combinations of new melanoma drugs result in major improvements in disease control and patient survival compared to current therapy.

One study (CheckMate 067), presented in the plenary session, was the first phase 3 trial to combine modern immunotherapy drugs in any cancer. The trial demonstrated improvements in both tumour response and patient survival with the combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy®) with the PD-1 antibody nivolumab (Opdivo®) compared to either therapy given alone. This is not only a major advance for melanoma treatment, but provides the impetus to attempt this approach in other cancer types and with other drug combinations.

Updated results were presented from a second study of targeted therapy (COMBI-D), where a BRAF inhibitor (dabrafenib) was combined with a MEK inhibitor (trametinib) and compared to BRAF inhibitor treatment alone. Again, patients responded better and lived longer with better quality of life with the combination treatment, cementing this as the new standard targeted therapy treatment for metastatic melanoma for patients with BRAF-positive tumours.

Associate Professor Georgina Long of MIA and the University of Sydney, co-author on these studies,  says,  “Melanoma Institute Australia is leading the way and making major steps forward in cancer history.  Two large clinical trials presented at ASCO show that two drugs are better than one for improving patient outcome, both for targeted therapies and immunotherapies, and are the new way of treating cancer.”

In April an international study to which MIA contributed the highest number of patients found that the PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) prolonged survival and had less high-grade toxicity compared with ipilimumab (YERVOY®) in patients with advanced melanoma, where melanoma has spread to distant parts of the body. The results from this latest announcement at ASCO prove that the combination of immunotherapy drugs is a better alternative for the majority of melanoma patients. 

“MIA has already broken ground with the PD-1 study that showed that the PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab is better than current treatments for patients with advance melanoma, reducing the size of tumours in 70% of patients and recording a one year survival rate of 74%  - where it had previously been 58%.  The latest findings of combination immunotherapies are the next level of how we treat not just melanoma, but cancer around the world,” Associate Professor Alex Guminski, Clinical Researcher and Consultant Medical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute Australia.

“The latest results are more great news for patients with melanoma, and have implications for all cancer patients.  By focusing on the science behind cancer, we can design further treatments that improve response and survival, and hopefully even cure some people,” says Assoc Professor Long.  

Help us continue our work. Donate now.

Dr James Wilmott wins 2020 Wildfire Highly Cited Publication Award
24 Nov 2020

Dr James Wilmott wins 2020 Wildfire Highly Cited Publication Award

A landmark study led by MIA's Dr Willmott is making a difference to melanoma treatment around the globe.

Tags: melanoma
MIA researchers feature on prestigious Highly Cited Researchers 2020 List
18 Nov 2020

MIA researchers feature on prestigious Highly Cited Researchers 2020 List

The highly anticipated annual list is the “who’s who” of the scientific elite from across the globe.

Tags: melanoma
Game On Mole is back this summer!
13 Nov 2020

Game On Mole is back this summer!

The uniquely Aussie awareness campaign ‘Game On Mole’ is back for its second year – with a new look but same important message.

Tags: melanoma
RCPA recognition for Professor Richard Scolyer.
12 Nov 2020

RCPA recognition for Professor Richard Scolyer.

Professor Richard Scolyer receives The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Distinguished Fellow Award.

Tags: melanoma
Professor Georgina Long hands on baton of SMR Presidency
31 Oct 2020

Professor Georgina Long hands on baton of SMR Presidency

Professor Long cites as a highlight of her 2-year Presidency, the phenomenal research output by SMR members who have continued to lead the cancer field despite the impact of COVID-19.

Tags: melanoma
City2Surf 2020
11 Sep 2020

City2Surf 2020

Join in the fun of the virtual event, and together we can run over melanoma!

Tags: melanoma
Top melanoma experts from MIA
10 Sep 2020

Top melanoma experts from MIA

Melanoma Institute Australia features prominently in the latest ‘Expertise in Melanoma’ world rankings, released by Expertscape.

Tags: melanoma
Melanoma Supportive Care Needs research study. 
03 Sep 2020

Melanoma Supportive Care Needs research study. 

Participate in our online survey and help us understand the support needs of melanoma patients and carers.

Tags: melanoma
New data reveals long-term benefit of adjuvant therapy for Stage III melanoma.
03 Sep 2020

New data reveals long-term benefit of adjuvant therapy for Stage III melanoma.

Updated results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Tags: melanoma
New online melanoma risk calculators critical to saving lives
28 Aug 2020

New online melanoma risk calculators critical to saving lives

Clinicians and their patients now have access to three online risk calculators developed by researchers at Melanoma Institute Australia.

Tags: melanoma
Professor Richard Scolyer receives University of Sydney Alumni Award.
24 Aug 2020

Professor Richard Scolyer receives University of Sydney Alumni Award.

MIA's Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer has received The University of Sydney Alumni Award for International Achievement.

Tags: melanoma
Uniting together despite the distance
21 Aug 2020

Uniting together despite the distance

More than 120 MIA clinicians, researchers and staff came together online to share research highlights.

Tags: melanoma
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.