Mayo Clinic part of new clinical trial to treat advanced melanoma

Posted by Sheryl M Ness, MA, RN @smness, Sep 14, 2015

Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute have launched a national clinical trial that is focused on individualized medicine to treat advanced melanoma.

The study has been four years in the making and is sponsored by Stand Up to Cancer and the Melanoma Research Alliance — together known as the Melanoma Dream Team.

Metastatic melanoma is a type of cancer that usually starts on the skin and spreads to other parts of the body. Common areas of the body where melanoma spreads may include the lungs, muscles, brain and liver.

Metastatic melanoma is responsible for more than 9,000 deaths each year in the United States. Melanoma is one of the most difficult types of cancer to treat and cure.

Mayo Clinic and T-Gen researchers have a long history of innovative research focused on improving treatments for metastatic melanoma. This new clinical trial symbolizes the next generation of precision medicine for this cancer type.

Recent advances in treatment options for melanoma include immunotherapy and targeted therapy. Immunotherapy can provide effective results for disease control in 30 to 50 percent of patients. Those with a BRAF gene mutation may respond to targeted therapy.

However, many people still have limited treatment options. The new study analyzes tumors at a molecular level and matches that profile to targeted treatments that may not otherwise be obvious. By using the power of cancer genomics, the study will treat each person with the best drug option for their individual situation.

The study is designed for those who lack a particular gene mutation and for whom immunotherapy is not an option.

For more information about this study at all three Mayo Clinic Cancer Center sites, call 1-855-776-0015. This same study is also available at other locations.

Please visit the Mayo Clinic Clinical Trials website at to learn more about this study. Information is also available at the NCI clinical trials website (, refer to study number NCT02094872.

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