Promising data for advanced melanoma patients

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.

Follow-up data from the ground-breaking ABC (Anti-PD1 Brain Collaboration) trial was presented by MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Georgina Long.  This trial is a phase II randomised trial involving melanoma patients with untreated brain metastases receiving either a combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab or nivolumab alone –In patients who received the combination therapy, 43% had no disease progression in their brain after three years. The 3-year rate for no progression of metastases in the brain increased to 48% if patients had no prior therapy. These 3-year rates indicate the ongoing durability of intracranial response from immunotherapy, and that the response is likely to continue long-term for almost half of all patients.

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 presentaiton 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.

Community Fundraising November Wrap-Up
04 Dec 2019

Community Fundraising November Wrap-Up

It’s time again to say thank you to our amazing community fundraisers!

MIA & MPA Patient Information Evening videos now available
03 Dec 2019

MIA & MPA Patient Information Evening videos now available

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.

MIA shines in poster session
22 Nov 2019

MIA shines in poster session

MIA is well-represented in the poster sessions at the Society for Melanoma Research 2019 Congress in the USA, with four poster presentations being given by members of our translational research lab.

MIA Co-Medical Director opens SMR Congress in USA
21 Nov 2019

MIA Co-Medical Director opens SMR Congress in USA

Professor Georgina Long has today opened the Society for Melanoma Research 2019 Congress in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Highly Cited Researchers List names MIA Co-Medical Directors
20 Nov 2019

Highly Cited Researchers List names MIA Co-Medical Directors

MIA’s Co-Medical Directors, Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer, have both been named Highly Cited Researchers, according to the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list.

MPA and MIA collaboration
07 Nov 2019

MPA and MIA collaboration

Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) and Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) have announced a new multi-year agreement to provide enhanced support services for melanoma patients nationally.

Community Fundraising October Wrap-Up
04 Nov 2019

Community Fundraising October Wrap-Up

It is time again to say thank you to our incredible community fundraisers who are helping us get closer to our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.

Promising data for advanced melanoma patients
09 Oct 2019

Promising data for advanced melanoma patients

MIA has presented promising data regarding progression-free survival rates for advanced melanoma patients at the ESMO 2019 Congress in Barcelona.

Melanoma Information Forum
04 Oct 2019

Melanoma Information Forum

We are delighted to partner with Melanoma Patients Australia to host a Melanoma Information Forum at The Poche Centre on 6th November.

Community Fundraising September Wrap-Up
02 Oct 2019

Community Fundraising September Wrap-Up

Another month has flown by and yet again we have a host of amazing community fundraisers who generously gave up their time to help us reach our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.

Notice for Supporters to Submit to PBAC
26 Sep 2019

Notice for Supporters to Submit to PBAC

Comments in favour of giving patients with BRAF-positive melanoma access to first-line immunotherapy need to be submitted online prior to October 9, 2019.

Tune into Jay's Longest Melanoma March Channel 10 documentary
16 Sep 2019

Tune into Jay's Longest Melanoma March Channel 10 documentary

Jay's Longest Melanoma March documentary is screening this Sunday 22 September at 1pm (AEST) on Channel 10, capturing behind the scenes of the 2000km walk, Adelaide to Sydney in 50 days. Uniting to end melanoma.

Professor Georgina Long Co-Medical Director named Women of Influence in Australian Financial Review Top 100 List
11 Sep 2019

Professor Georgina Long Co -Medical Director named Women of Influence in AFR Top 100 List

We are proud to announce that our Professor Georgina Long Co -Medical Director Melanoma Institute Australia has been named in the Top 100 Financial Review 2019 Women of Influence.

Community Fundraising August Wrap-Up
04 Sep 2019

Community Fundraising August Wrap-Up

It’s been a month since we highlighted some of our incredibly generous community fundraisers. We thought we’d have a look back at August and put the spotlight on more of the wonderful people who give up their time to fundraise for MIA, so we can continue to edge closer to our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.

From Lab Coats To Lycra - Australian Melanoma experts take on world Triathlon championships
02 Sep 2019

From Lab Coats To Lycra - Australian Melanoma experts take on world Triathlon championships

They are a formidable team - in work and in play  –  and one set to make history on both fronts.

Melanoma Institute Australia hosts first SunSafe Student Ambassador Program for 2019
30 Aug 2019

Melanoma Institute Australia hosts SunSafe Student Ambassador Programs 2019

This week, Melanoma Institute Australia hosted the first of six SunSafe Student Ambassador Programs for 2019.

Tags: SunSafe
Australia at risk of falling behind USA and Europe in preventing deadly recurrence of Melanoma
23 Aug 2019

Australia at risk of falling behind USA and Europe in preventing deadly recurrence of Melanoma

Federal government urged to provide certainty of access to immunotherapy for high risk melanoma patients.

Team Melanoma smashes City2Surf
16 Aug 2019

Team Melanoma smashes City2Surf

We want to thank every member of Team Melanoma and everyone who donated to them. With your help, we are moving closer to our goal of zero deaths from melanoma!

Ready to run over melanoma at City2Surf 2019
08 Aug 2019

Ready to run over melanoma at City2Surf 2019

Lauren O'Brien tells us why she's running for a cause close to her heart

Community Fundraising July Wrap-Up
01 Aug 2019

Community Fundraising July Wrap-Up

MIA could not do what we do without the incredible support and effort of our community fundraisers. We’d like to highlight some of the wonderful events organised by our community in the month of July that are helping us move closer to our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.