Research boost to improve outcomes for melanoma patients
15 July 2021
Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) researchers have recently been awarded two competitive funding grants, which will help facilitate their ground-breaking work in melanoma research.
NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant
MIA has received a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant of $1 million over five years for the ABC-X study: Anti-PD 1 Brain Collaboration + Radiotherapy Extension.
The purpose of this research study is to determine whether administering radiotherapy to melanoma brain tumours, in combination with 2 immunotherapy drugs (nivolumab and ipilimumab), will be more effective than treating brain tumours with immunotherapy alone. Patients in this trial will be randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups. Group 1 will receive radiotherapy to their melanoma brain lesion(s), combined with immunotherapy. Group 2 will receive immunotherapy treatment alone.
This study is currently recruiting at Melanoma Institute Australia, Westmead Hospital, Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital Queensland, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and will soon be opening at Royal Adelaide Hospital, Alfred Hospital and Oslo University Hospital Norway
MRFF Efficient Use of Existing Medicines Grant
MIA also received a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Efficient Use of Existing Medicines Grant of $2 million over four years for the NADINA Phase 3 trial comparing response driven neo-adjuvant combination of ipilimumab + nivolumab versus adjuvant nivolumab
Standard care for melanoma spread to lymph nodes is surgery followed by one year of drug treatment to prevent recurrence. A drug used now in many cancers, immunotherapy, cost Australia $688 million in 2020. This study will test a safe and cost-effective way to prevent recurrence with just 6 weeks of immunotherapy before surgery, known as neo-adjuvant therapy. If the tumour is destroyed, major surgery and more drug therapy can be avoided. A shorter course of drug therapy will reduce healthcare costs by nearly 50%.
We plan to offer this study across four Australian sites and also in the Netherlands.
This grant funding helps facilitate MIA’s world-leading researchers to continue their ground-breaking work in melanoma research in order to improve outcomes for patients and achieve our goal of zero deaths from melanoma this decade.
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