A leading research funding and advocacy group for Melanoma is teaming up with two other cancer research foundations with a completely different cancer focus to pool resources for researching and treating a common enemy: brain metastases.
The LUNGevity Foundation, Lung Cancer Research Foundation and Melanoma Research Alliance have formed a three-part partnership to develop targeted research on PD-1 inhibitor treatment options for both non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and metastatic melanoma (MM) patients with brain metastasis.
According to News Medical, the collaboration will sponsor the research project of Dr. Lucia Jilaveanu, M.D., Ph.D. from Yale University, entitled Response to PD-1 Inhibitors in Melanoma and Lung Cancer Patients with Brain Metastases.
This joint collaboration between lung cancer and melanoma research funding organizations may at first seem like an unusual pairing, however, both forms of cancer have one key commonality: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients have the highest incidence of brain metastases among all cancer, and melanoma patients have the highest probability of having their cancer metastasize to the brain once the cancer spreads.
LUNGevity Foundation President, Andrea Stern Ferris, sees the unique partnership between two different cancer foundations as a promising endeavor, as it may lead to significant advances in research and treatment for a “serious concern that affects both of our communities.” She went on to add that immunotherapy is “one of the most promising fields of medical science” that could help more than 50,000 people, the number of patients with one of these cancers that develops brain metastases yearly, giving them access to a “vital therapy.”
Patients with brain metastases are usually excluded from trials with immune therapies, even though the responses to them have been positive. However, with this new research endeavor, patients with brain metastases will have the opportunity to potentially benefit from experimental therapies developed by this new lung cancer/melanoma alliance.