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TGen, Karmanos Lead $6M Melanoma Project

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Translational Genomics Research Institute said today that it will partner with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and several other partners in a $6 million study that will use genomics and other approaches to aid in the development of skin cancer therapies.

Funded by Stand up to Cancer (SU2C) and the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the three-year SU2C-MRA Melanoma Dream Team Translational Cancer Research collaboration will seek to accelerate potential treatments for BRAF wild-type melanoma, which has few treatments.

TGen President and Research Director Jeffrey Trent, one of the project's leaders, will supervise genomic sequencing to support the project, TGen said.

"We hope to use this unique multi-stage clinical investigation to define new treatments that will produce benefits for metastatic melanoma patients, based on extensive genomic profiling," Patricia LoRusso, another project leader and director of the Eisenberg Center for Experimental Therapeutics at Karmanos, said in a statement. "We have great scientists and clinicians from across the nation who will join forces on this."

LoRusso will supervise patient selection, tissue sample handling, and clinical trials research on the project, which will involve around 150 patients.

Other collaborators on the project include Mayo Clinic; the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University; the Van Andel Research Institute; Michigan State University; Scripps Research Institute; Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Vanderbilt University; Johns Hopkins University; the University of California Santa Cruz; Scottsdale Healthcare; the National Cancer Institute; and the Queensland Institute for Medical Research.

"Our expertise in cell-based assays and proteomics hold promise for making new discoveries to advance our understanding of molecularly guided melanoma therapies and ultimately improve patient outcomes," said Deirdre Meldrum, director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation.