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Mayo Clinic trial uses precision medicine on melanoma

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PHOENIX, 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, according to a news release from Mayo and TGen.

The study leverages advances in genomics, informatics and health-information technology to give more precise medical treatments.

The treatment is 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.

Metastatic 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 per year in the United States, so there remains an urgent need for new treatment options.

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, according to the release.

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"This 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 Dr. Alan Bryce, Mayo Clinic's lead clinical investigator on the trial.

The Mayo Clinic leadership includes Drs. Sekulic and Bryce at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Dr. Svetomir Markovic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Dr. Richard Joseph at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

The 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, according to the news release. The study will evaluate if using this precision therapy approach improves outcomes over current treatments.

Related Topics: MAYO CLINIC
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