MIA experts collaborate on groundbreaking research
16 January 2019
In another collaborative effort in our quest to reach zero deaths from melanoma, Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has contributed its expertise to an exciting new study published in the prestigious journal Nature.
Led by researchers from Perth’s Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Melbourne, the study aimed to discover the specific mechanisms behind immune-mediated equilibrium – the reason malignant cells can remain dormant in a patient for years without manifesting as disease.
MIA’s Co-Medical Director, Professor Richard Scolyer, post-doctoral researcher, Dr James Wilmott, and collaborator, Dr Mainthan Palendira, were all responsible for intellectual input and data interpretation. MIA PhD student Jarem Edwards assisted in performing experiments for the study and analysing the resultant data.
The study found that a particular type of immune cell - tissue-resident memory (TRM) T cells - were responsible for patrolling melanoma cells and keeping them in check. When they removed this type of cell from the body of mice with melanoma, the melanoma cells were re-established and allowed to grow.
The hope is that this research will pave the way for investigators to manipulate this mechanism and control and maintain melanoma, and other cancers, in a dormant state for life, effectively curing patients.
Image: Imaging of cells keeping cancer in dormancy - Jason Waithman research.png (Telethon Kids Institute)
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