The Melbourne Melanoma Project (MMP) began in 2010. It is a collaborative project encompassing the melanoma units at: the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Austin Health; the Victorian Melanoma Service, Alfred Hospital; and Border Medical Oncology, Wodonga. The project is funded by the Victorian Cancer Agency. The Principal Investigator is Professor Grant McArthur. There are 21 co-investigators, including consumer representatives, and 22 collaborators working on the current version of the project.
MMP is a research project that has multiple platforms to enable researchers to better understand melanoma. Platform one is a database that links clinical information (presentation, treatments received, and outcomes) with tumour specimens. Patients attending any of the MMP sites may be asked to participate in the study. Approximately 2140 people have consented to be part of the project. Their generosity has enabled MMP research to be internationally recognised. MMP scientists have published over 125 scientific articles and given more than 210 presentations at conferences and meetings.
Platform two is a genomics platform that continues to investigate mutations in melanoma genes. It has identified a new melanoma subtype and new marker genes, established mouse PDX models and generated a Victorian comprehensive dataset of melanoma mutations including subtypes of BRAF. Its genetic results have also assisted in the recruitment of many patients to both targeted and immune therapy clinical trials. The platform is now looking at ‘liquid biopsies’ (blood tests) as a means of measuring tumour DNA quantity for disease progression and circulating tumour cell mutations for rapid prognostic results.
Platform three is looking at the immune responses to melanoma. It is using techniques that can identify the different immune cells within melanoma tissue samples. It examines immune related gene activities in specimens collected before and after treatments and screens serial blood samples for the presence or absence of antibodies. This platform is being used to address some of the unknowns regarding the actions of the new immunotherapy drugs being used to treat melanoma.
The MMP Consumer Reference Group (CRG) is the underpinning human component of the project. They have been involved in the project from the outset and play an integral role in the Governance and research landscape of the project. The consumer members are a passionate group of patients and carers advocating for research and promoting awareness. They communicate all research results and local melanoma news to the wider community via the MMP website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
MMP NewslettersMMP Newsletter August 2016
MMP Melanoma Research Projects
To find information about the research work being done at MMP
Other Melanoma Research
To find information on important projects and their progressLatest research projects
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To find out about the new and ongoing clinical trials,Search for a clinical trial – Cancer Council Victoria
To contact the Research Team
Or phone Sonia Mailer, MMP Project Manager on +61 3 8559 6678