As one of the world's largest cancer research centers, MD Anderson is leading the investigation into new methods of melanoma prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Each patient benefits from the most advanced research, delivered as rapidly as possible.
Our comprehensive clinical trial program offers treatment options for patients at every stage of disease and aims to develop the next generation of innovative approaches for the treatment and prevention of melanoma.
MD Anderson researchers have access to one of the world’s largest melanoma tissue banks and are analyzing the hundreds of tissue samples from these banks to uncover new genetic abnormalities that may be driving melanoma. This analysis also allows us to predict how harboring certain abnormalities may affect a patient’s response to a particular therapy.
We’re also analyzing current patients' samples to determine which genetic abnormalities are associated with their disease. Throughout a patient’s treatment, tumor samples will be analyzed and genetic abnormalities will be correlated to their treatment progress. This effort will provide our physicians with the ability to formulate better treatment plans at an individual patient level.
For many patients, immunotherapy can have dramatic results – even upon stage III metastatic melanoma. However, these drugs do not work on everyone. Our researchers are initiating clinical trials to investigate treatment strategies that combine pairs of immunotherapies to deliver a more comprehensive attack on the disease. We believe that combining these powerful therapies will elicit better outcomes from the patients who do not respond to either treatment when used alone.
Melanoma Research Initiatives
Our commitment to melanoma research is echoed through two major initiatives:
Melanoma Moon Shot
Our ambitious plan to reduce melanoma mortality rates through research projects that impact prevention, screening and personalized disease management.
Through these programs and other cutting edge melanoma research, MD Anderson has:
- Adapted several immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitor drugs and adoptive T-cell therapy, for the treatment of melanoma
- Discovered and validated targeted therapies such as BRAF, MEK, multikinase and KIT inhibitors
- Uncovered that the diversity and composition of bacteria in the digestive tract are associated with a patient’s response to immunotherapy