Melanoma/BRAF WildType Dream Team - Stand Up to Cancer
Help save a life

This holiday season, Mastercard is standing with us in the fight to end cancer as we know it. From now until December 31st, 2018, if you use a Mastercard to donate to Stand Up To Cancer, Mastercard will TRIPLE your gift, up to $300,000!

That’s triple the impact to support groundbreaking cancer research that will help save lives now!

$25 = $75
$50 = $150
$100 = $300
$250 = $750
GIVE FOR LIFE
For every $1 donated through StandUpToCancer.org with a Mastercard, Mastercard will donate $2, up to $300,000. Offer starts 12/14/18 at 12:01am ET and ends 12/31/18 at 11:59pm ET, or at the $300,000 max, whichever comes first.

Dream Teams

Research  >  Research Portfolio  >  Dream Teams  >  Melanoma/BRAF WildType Dream Team

SU2C–Melanoma Research Alliance
Melanoma Dream Team:
Personalized Medicine for Patients with BRAF Wild-Type (BRAFwt) Cancer

Grant Term: April 2012−January 2016

Melanoma patients have a type of cancer that generally falls into one of two groups, based on a gene call BRAF. The goal of the SU2C–Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) Melanoma Dream Team is to examine the entire set of genetic instructions (called the genome) of metastatic melanoma patients whose tumors do not have mutations in their BRAF gene. The team wants to understand the characteristics of each patient’s genome in order to select therapies that are more precisely targeted to the individual.

ABOUT THIS TEAM’S RESEARCH

Patients with metastatic melanoma have a bleak prognosis, with a median survival of six to nine months and a five-year survival rate of about 16%. About half of patients with metastatic melanoma have a mutation in a gene called BRAF in their tumors, and there are approved drugs to help prolong their life. However, the other half of patients have no mutation in the BRAF gene and are said to be BRAF wild type (BRAFwt); very little progress has been made in identifying new drugs to treat them.

The SU2C–MRA Melanoma Dream Team is analyzing the genomes of metastatic melanoma patients who are BRAFwt in order to match potentially effective drugs—approved or experimental—to the individual patient. Team members are also exploring the biological makeup of BRAFwt and BRAF-mutant cancer cells and testing these cells in the laboratory for sensitivity to 100 potential new treatments. Researchers are using these data to predict the sensitivity of BRAFwt melanomas to specific drugs and testing these predictions in laboratory studies.

A clinical trial is underway to determine whether this personalized approach significantly improves clinical outcome. The goal is a 30% improvement in tumor response relative to the standard of care.

MEET THE TEAM

The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C–MRA Melanoma Dream Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C–MRA Melanoma Dream Team.

Team Members

Jeffrey M. Trent, PhD
Translational Genomics Research Institute
Team Leader

Patricia LoRusso, DO
Yale Cancer Center
Co-leader

Svetomir Markovic, MD, PhD
Mayo Clinic Rochester
Principal Investigator

Brian J. Nickoloff, MD, PhD
Michigan State University
Principal Investigator

Nicholas Schork, PhD
Scripps Research Institute
Principal Investigator

Aleksandar Sekulic, MD, PhD
Mayo Clinic Scottsdale
Principal Investigator

Jeffrey A. Sosman, MD
Vanderbilt University
Principal Investigator

Kristiina Vuori, MD, PhD
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Principal Investigator

Craig P. Webb, PhD
Van Andel Research Institute
Principal Investigator

Tracy Bame
Freeport-McMoran Cooper and Gold, Inc.
Advocate

Mark Gorman
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Advocate

Derrick Hall
Arizona Diamondbacks
Advocate

Cornelius McGillicuddy III
Liberty Partners Group
Advocate

Jane Perlmutter
Gemini Group
Advocate

Cassandra Lucas
Translational Genomics Research Institute
Project Manager

“Melanoma has been a success story in the past year, but that success affects about half of the patients, at best. We just said, we’ve got to go after that group that just desperately needs our help.”

Jeffrey M. Trent, PhD
Translational Genomics Research Institute

TEAM PROGRESS UPDATES

Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click below to see summaries of the research results so far for the SU2C–MRA Melanoma Dream Team.

TEAM PROGRESS UPDATES

CLINICAL TRIALS REFERRALS

Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials, you’ll find information and answers to common questions about clinical trials. Learn more and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial may be the best choice for you.

You can also connect with EmergingMed, a free and confidential clinical trial matching service that provides access to a vast database to help you identify the clinical trials that might be right for you or your loved one.

LEARN MORE