New Test to Predict Primary Melanoma Progression

New Test to Predict Primary Melanoma Progression

21 January 2020

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.

A joint study led by researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney, Harvard Medical School, Sydney Local Health District and Adaptive Biotechnology analysed immune cells (known as T-cells) in primary melanoma samples taken from 209 patients, 164 of whom came from MIA.

The study, published today in Nature Cancer, found that patients with a T-cell fraction (TCFr) of less than 20% in their primary melanoma were two-and-a-half times more likely to have disease progression than those with more than 20% TCFr.

The study was jointly led by Dr James Wilmott and Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer from Melanoma Institute Australia and researchers from Harvard Medical School.

‘These findings suggest analysing TCFr in primary melanomas is a valuable tool for predicting which patients are at risk of developing metastatic melanoma, ’ Dr Wilmott said.

‘This could enable us to personalise treatment for each patient based on their individual risk of recurrence and progression, and potentially target them earlier with immunotherapy,’ Professor Scolyer added.

Australia has one of the highest melanoma rates in the world, with one person diagnosed every 30 minutes and one person dying every five hours from disease.

While 90% of early stage melanomas are cured with surgery alone, a subset of patients will recur metastatically within five years.

Recent advances in targeted and immunotherapies have significantly improved outcomes for Stage IV melanoma patients. However, the management of primary melanoma has remained relatively unchanged, with prognosis based principally on histopathological factors such as tumour thickness and ulceration.

‘This test offers the ability to identify primary melanoma patients at high risk of developing metastatic disease at their initial diagnosis,’ Dr Wilmott said. ‘These patients may benefit from close monitoring or the addition of adjuvant treatments to prevent their disease progressing.’ 

A meeting of the minds
02 Jun 2016

A meeting of the minds

MIA's doctors are converging on Chicago this week along with 40,000 delegates from around the globe at the biggest oncology conference in the world.

MIA's Dermatology services expanded
27 May 2016

MIA's Dermatology services expanded

We are pleased to announce a recent expansion to the dermatology services at Melanoma Institute Australia.

5 Minutes with Maria Gonzalez
20 May 2016

5 Minutes with Maria Gonzalez

This International Clinical Trials Day we reflect on the importance of clinical trials and the people who dedicate their lives to helping melanoma patients today and in the future.

Melanoma eBook to educate GPs
12 May 2016

Melanoma eBook to educate GPs

MIA has launched its first eBook Melanoma Essentials – A Concise Guide, a resource for GPs and other medical, nursing and allied professionals to help them effectively diagnose and manage cases.

5 Minutes with Dr Scot Ebbinghaus
05 May 2016

5 Minutes with Dr Scot Ebbinghaus

Dr Scot Ebbinghaus chats to us about an exciting clinical trial at MIA and where melanoma treatment is headed in the future.

Opdivo available on PBS for advanced melanoma patients
01 May 2016

Opdivo available on PBS for advanced melanoma patients

A new melanoma treatment has been listed on the PBS today, giving another option for advanced melanoma patients. 

5 Minutes with Dr Louise Jackett
27 Apr 2016

5 Minutes with Dr Louise Jackett

MIA's Pathology Fellow Dr Louise Jackett tells us why she's joined our fellowship program to learn from the best.

MIA patient's plight highlighted in ABC series
27 Apr 2016

MIA patient's plight highlighted in ABC series

MIA doctors and patient have featured in the final episode of ABC’s ground-breaking series Keeping Australia Alive.

Recruiting: Pregnancy and moles study
26 Apr 2016

Recruiting: Pregnancy and moles study

Specialist dermatologists at MIA are researching moles during pregnancy and we are looking for study recruits.

The role of radiotherapy in melanoma
22 Apr 2016

The role of radiotherapy in melanoma

New research is re-writing the textbooks on what we know about melanoma by highlighting the effectiveness of radiotherapy as a treatment, reversing a long-held belief that melanoma was resistant to radiotherapy.

Australian melanoma rates take the silver – and that's good news
31 Mar 2016

Australian melanoma rates take the silver – and that's good news

However, Australia's burden of melanoma will stay very high over the next 15 years unless we do more. MIA's Professor Graham Mann explains.

Australia unites taking small steps to make a big difference for melanoma research
23 Mar 2016

Australia unites taking small steps to make a big difference for melanoma research

Thank you to everyone involved in making Melanoma March 2016 a huge success

And they're off... Melanoma March 2016 begins!
29 Feb 2016

And they're off... Melanoma March 2016 begins!

Melanoma March 2016 has officially begun with more than 300 people marching in Rockingham and Devonport.

5 Minutes with Carole Renouf
29 Feb 2016

5 Minutes with Carole Renouf

MIA's new CEO Carole Renouf has been in her role only a month, but is already making plans for the future of MIA.

Opinion: Outing Melanoma
24 Feb 2016

Opinion: Outing Melanoma

In the wake of Susie Maroney's recent announcement that she is battling melanoma, CEO Carole Renouf's opinion piece weighs in on the critical need we have in Australia to raise awareness about melanoma. 

Congratulations Professor Georgina Long
22 Feb 2016

Congratulations Professor Georgina Long

MIA's Georgina Long has been appointed Professor and awarded a coverted prize in medial research.

Melanoma March 2016: Where your funds are going
19 Feb 2016

Melanoma March 2016: Where your funds are going

Melanoma March 2016 funding will be used to initiate an ambitious new project that will support the best possible care for melanoma patients around Australia through a new data and communication platform. 

New research shows long-term survival in group of advanced melanoma patients treated with BRAF inhibitors
05 Feb 2016

New research shows long-term survival in group of advanced melanoma patients treated with BRAF inhibitors

New MIA-led research has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Melanoma March 2016 is launched
02 Feb 2016

Melanoma March 2016 is launched

Melanoma March was officially launched today with the announcement of the national research project funded by the march. 

MIA's research pivotal in TGA's approval of new therapy
01 Feb 2016

MIA's research pivotal in TGA's approval of new therapy

Clinical research undertaken at MIA has been pivotal in supporting the recent Therapeutic Goods Administration approval of Opdivo (nivolumab) for advanced melanoma.