MIA welcomes ground-breaking new PBS melanoma treatment
3 July 2015
New Federal Government funding means patients with the most deadly form of melanoma, will soon be able to receive treatment with the drug Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The drug, which is proven to improve survival, helps the body’s immune system to identify and attack melanoma cancer deposits that have spread rapidly through the body. It reduces the size of the tumours in a majority of patients with advanced melanoma.
Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), working with other leading melanoma researchers, published a three year study that compared patients receiving Keytruda® and another leading immunotherapy. The landmark research revealed patients on Keytruda® had much better survival rates.
Associate Professor Georgina Long, a lead research investigator for the study, said: “This is great news for patients across Australia, where we have the highest incidence of melanoma in the world and where someone dies from this disease every 6 hours. Our work has led to the Government making these drugs accessible to all melanoma patients.”
Keytruda® is used as a first line treatment for inoperable melanomas and metastatic melanomas which have spread to other parts of the body. However, Associate Professor Long clarifies it does not work for everyone: “Despite the great success for a majority of patients, we must bear in mind that 30-40 per cent of people don’t respond to this treatment. Here at MIA we continue our work to discover why this is, and what else we can be doing to help this group of patients.”
See more on MIA’s contribution to the world-wide research here.
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.
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.
“I had a complete response within about six months. All of my tumours disappeared."
‘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,'
MIA's Co-Medical Director, Professor Richard Scolyer, has achieved a Google Scholar h-index of 100.
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.
A must-read personal account by Garry Maddox in The Sydney Morning Herald of how immunotherapy is revolutionising melanoma treatment.
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 events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
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.
Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.
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.
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’.
It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.
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.
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Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.
Melanoma patients and their families across Western Australia will benefit from strengthened and expanded services with the merging of melanomaWA and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Australian researchers have played a critical role in the discovery of a potential new test to predict which early stage melanoma patients are at high risk of their disease recurring and progressing.
We are extremely grateful for our community fundraisers, who, even in this difficult time, have given up their time and effort to fundraise so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.