Ariz. — Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research
Institute (TGen) are helping launch a national clinical trial
that will apply the latest in precision medicine to treat
advanced melanoma skin cancer.
study leverages advances in genomics, informatics, and health
information technology, yielding more precise medical
treatments for patients with this devastating disease.
Clinic is the only clinical site in Arizona to offer this new
treatment, sponsored by Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) and the
Melanoma Research Alliance. These clinical trials are the
culmination of nearly four years of research under an SU2C
Melanoma Dream Team grant.
melanoma is a type of cancer that has spread from the skin to
other parts of the body, most frequently the lungs, muscles,
brain, and liver. Metastatic melanoma is responsible for more
than 9,000 deaths a year in the United States, so there
remains an urgent need for new treatment options.
Clinic and TGen researchers have a long history of innovative
research into improving treatments for patients with
metastatic melanoma. This new clinical trial represents the
next generation of precision medicine for this disease.
dramatic advances in melanoma rest on the twin pillars of
immunotherapy and genetically targeted therapy. Immunotherapy
may lead to long-term disease control in 30-50 percent of
patients. For the remainder of patients, approximately half,
an alteration to the BRAF gene can be targeted by a new
generation of pills. For the remaining patients, however,
there are no other treatments proven to prolong life.
study is unique in offering more than 20 different treatment
options in a single trial. By leveraging the power of cancer
genomics, we believe we can treat each patient with the best
drug for their individual situation. This design offers
patients a huge advantage over the old model of treating all
patients the same way and only testing one drug at a
time," said Alan Bryce, M.D., Mayo Clinic’s lead
clinical investigator on the trial.
significant advances in treatment of melanoma, a substantial
proportion of patients still face limited treatment options.
By analyzing a patient’s tumor at a molecular level, there
is an opportunity to identify individually matched treatments
that are not otherwise obvious in a given patient. Our study
explores this concept of precision medicine for treatment of
cancer at a level that has not been done before," said
Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., Ph.D., a physician and scientist
with a joint appointment at Mayo Clinic and TGen.
are addressing a continuing and significant unmet medical need
for advanced melanoma patients who have progressed on our most
promising current treatments," said. Jeffrey Trent,
Ph.D., TGen President and Research Director. "The Stand
Up To Cancer-Melanoma Research Alliance grant gives us the
ability to align cutting edge genomic research with
world-recognized clinical centers like the Mayo Clinic, all
joining forces to conquer this terrible disease."
Melanoma Dream Team is led by Dr. Trent and Dr. Pat LoRusso,
D.O., at the Yale University Cancer Center in New Haven, Conn.
The Mayo Clinic leadership includes Drs. Sekulic and Bryce at
Mayo Clinic in Arizona; Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D., at
Mayo Clinic in Rochester; and. Richard Joseph, M.D., at Mayo
Clinic in Jacksonville.
clinical trials, which will enroll patients lacking a
particular genetic mutation for whom immune therapy did not
work or was not an option, uses the latest molecular
sequencing techniques to best match targeted drugs to the
unique genetic alterations present in tumors missing the BRAF
mutation. The study will evaluate if using this precision
therapy approach improves outcomes over current treatments.
clinical trials for the project, titled Stand Up To Cancer
Consortium Genomics-Enabled Medicine for Melanoma (G.E.M.M.):
Using Molecularly-Guided Therapy for Patients with BRAF
wild-type (BRAFwt) Metastatic Melanoma, is being lead by Yale
University and includes seven other institutions: