A promising new tool in the fight against melanoma

A new discovery with the potential to improve melanoma survival rates has been published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. The research lead by Associate Professor Elin Gray found that patients with high levels of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) – an important indicator of cancer in the blood – could potentially benefit from receiving a more aggressive treatment as a first line of defence against melanoma.

Selecting the right course of drugs and therapies to treat melanoma is extremely complex and this key blood marker of cancer could be used to help select the most effective therapies. Associate Professor Gray said “this biomarker could help clinicians to better determine which patients would have a better outcome if we hit the cancer with an aggressive combination of immunotherapy first”. “It’s important to know when we should be targeting the cancer with certain types of drugs and which patients would benefit the most as aggressive treatments often result in more serious side effects,” she said.

Associate Professor Gray’s team is now delving deeper in to the characteristics of melanoma tumours that become resistant to therapy and why second line treatments fail. Read more...

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