Promising data for advanced melanoma patients
9 October 2019
Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has presented promising data regarding progression-free survival rates for advanced melanoma patients at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress in Barcelona.
The overall survival rate at 3 years on the combination treatment was 49%, on single therapy was 42%, and a final cohort – those patients who would usually have been excluded from clinical trials because of the severity of their brain metastases – was 19%, which is a significant increase in life expectancy for these patients.
Five-year survival rates from the longest-running phase III trial of combination immunotherapy in melanoma patients were also presented at ESMO. The overall survival for those patients on combination ipilimumab and nivolumab was 52%, with 36% of patients progression-free.
Also on display at ESMO were four posters from our researchers. Post-doctoral researcher Dr. Ines da Silva presented our findings on the overall survival of melanoma patients based on the pattern of their metastases, and was awarded the best poster presentation at ESMO. She found that patients with brain metastases and liver metastases lived for shorter periods than patients without melanoma in these sites. She also found that different metastatic sites were asociated with different patterns of further metastasis, indicating that patterns of metastasis may be another helpful factor in determining prognosis.
Medical oncology Fellow Dr. Adriana Hepner presented data on the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy treatment after a patient has become resistant to combination immunotherapy. She found that giving patients immunotherapy again after they have already become resistant benefited a small subset of patients, although patients may have a recurrence of previous toxicities. This poster highlighted the need for further research into new and different treatments for these patients.
Medical oncologist and MIA PhD student Dr. Kazi Nahar's, presented her work on the characteristics of one of the major immune-related toxicities caused by immunotherapy treatment – colitis, or inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. She found that combination immunotherapy - while being highly effective for many melanoma patients - was more likely to cause earlier onset and more severe colitis in melanoma patients that also seems to be more resistant to steroid treatment.
Finally, PhD student Hansol Lee presented a poster that discussed the role of a type of immune cell called macrophages, on response to combination immunotherapy. He found that patients who responded to treatment had more macrophages within their tumour before they began treatment, and a higher amount of a particular subset of macrophages is associated with a significantly better overall response and progression-free survival rate.
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.
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
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.
Melanoma patients are set to benefit from subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients.
An informative article on how immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, written by Jill Margo and featured in the Australian Financial Review.
Melanoma patients and their families in the Riverina will benefit from strengthened and sustained melanoma services with the merger of the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Belmont High School at Lake Macquarie has been announced winner of the 2019 SunSafe Student Ambassador Program video competition.
It’s time again to say thank you to our amazing community fundraisers!
Videos of the sessions at the recent Patient Information Evening co-hosted by Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) are now available for viewing.