Melanoma March is saving lives

Melanoma March 2022 is aiming to raise $1 million for a world-first clinical trial of a Personalised Immunotherapy Platform which could transform cancer treatment across the globe and ultimately save many thousands of lives.

The Personalised Immunotherapy Platform (PIP) is a complex tool developed by Melanoma Institute Australia and seed funded by previous Melanoma March events. It uses a patient’s individual tumour biomarkers to predict resistance to current treatment and identify alternative effective drug therapies to improve survival.

The next crucial step is to conduct a clinical trial of the Personalised Immunotherapy Platform – the PIP-Trial – which is being led by Melanoma Institute Australia. The PIP-Trial aims to enrol patients across multiple centres including MIA’s The Poche Centre in Sydney.

‘If successful, this world-first clinical trial could well prove the Personalised Immunotherapy Platform to be the Holy Grail in cancer treatment,’ MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Georgina Long AO said.

‘Providing the right treatment to the right person at the right time will not only save lives, but it will also reduce the physical, emotional and financial costs of a patient having to go through several treatments with no certainty they will work,’ she said.

First tested and adopted as treatment for melanoma and now the most widely used drug therapy in cancer, immunotherapy is successfully curing a large proportion of patients with advanced melanoma. But 50% of advanced melanoma patients either don’t respond to, or develop resistance to the same immunotherapy treatment that proves life-saving for others.

‘Support from previous Melanoma March events fuelled our work in developing the Personalised Immunotherapy Platform, and every single Melanoma March participant this year is helping us to enrol patients onto this ground-breaking PIP clinical trial,’ added Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer AO.

‘Together we are taking critical steps that have the potential to transform treatment for advanced melanoma patients and revolutionise treatment of other cancers right across the globe.’

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