MIA takes centre stage at leading cancer conference
5 June 2019
Researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) took centre stage at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, attended by over 40,000 professionals. Results presented by MIA’s contingent have the potential to create better patient outcomes and change the way advanced melanoma
Four independent presentations on melanoma
“Four presentations from one institution, including a Clinical Science Symposium,
Dr Da Silva’s research is paving the way for personalised therapies, as she unveiled a detailed analysis of melanoma biomarkers to predict treatment response.
“These outliers are so important to our research. These are the patients who can teach us about resistance or conversion to therapy, which is our next big research focus,” said Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director of MIA.
Another MIA presentation outlined what researchers hope will be the new benchmark for drug testing and regulatory approval. MIA’s Associate Professor Alex Menzies presented analyses of data from six
MIA medical oncology fellow Dr Carina Owen presented the analysis from her study looking at international data of patients who recur on adjuvant immunotherapy (immunotherapy given after surgical intervention). Her analysis reveals that patients who recur after stopping treatment early or completing their therapy may respond to further immunotherapy.
Professor Angela Hong also presented the results from MIA’s whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) trial. The international phase III trial found that WBRT does not prolong overall survival compared to observation. As WBRT can be morbid, using this information as the foundation for treatment changes will improve the quality of life for patients whose melanoma has spread to the brain.
In the melanoma and skin cancer poster session, MIA was again well-represented with six posters on display. Professor Long presented two posters summarising new and further results from clinical trials. The newest cohort of patients on the Keynote-029 study have
A poster by Dr Inês Da Silva described a model to predict response to immunotherapy. Importantly, the best predictors of response are routinely collected clinical factors, easily accessible through a blood test, making this a practical and inexpensive tool to help guide clinicians in making treatment choices for their patients. PhD student Dr Jenny Lee presented a poster on the use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a biomarker for the presence and monitoring of melanoma brain metastases. While she found that ctDNA was not a useful biomarker for the status of brain metastases, it is till a useful tool for determining extracranial response.
Associate Professor Matt Carlino presented the outline of a new clinical trial, where giving patients with resected Stage II melanoma adjuvant pembrolizumab will be compared with the current standard of care, observation. Finally, clinical trials manager Maria Gonzalez presented a poster summarising MIA’s new ABC-X clinical trial, aided by funding from Jay’s Longest Melanoma March. This trial will combine radiotherapy with immunotherapy in patients with brain metastases to determine if this will increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
“We’re exceptionally proud of our ASCO presenters. Each one is pushing forward the treatment landscape for our patients and edging closer to our goal of zero deaths from melanoma,” said Professor Long.
Researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia took centre stage at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago. Results presented by MIA’s contingent have the potential to create better patient outcomes and change the way advanced melanoma
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