Skin Cancer: Melanoma mapped

22 Mar 2021 - Skin

Melbourne researchers have discovered how melanomas change genetically as they morph from early to late-stage disease, paving the way for new therapies to treat the most deadly stage of cancer. Cancer research is typically done on tissue of early-stage disease, given biopsies are readily available, but Alfred Health oncology director Mark Shackleton said concern among oncologists had grown that not enough research was being done on cancers that had spread. Generous Victorians, who have died from the deadly skin cancer and donated their tissue in a new rapid autopsy program at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, have allowed researchers for the first time to analyse the genetic changes of melanoma that occur from the initial diagnosis to end stage. Co-lead researcher and computational biologist Tony Papenfuss from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Peter Mac, said DNA sequencing showed all end-stage melanomas had the same radical genetic changes, which are linked to aggressive growth and treatment resistance.

Herald Sun; 20/03/2021; Page 4