Dr James Larkin is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital.  Dr Larkin was the first medical advisor to join Melanoma UK and we are fortunate to have him on board. Over the last few years we have supported several of the projects that he has been worked on and this week we made a donation of £15,000 to help with one of the latest pieces of work.

Dr Larkin told us:-

Effective adjuvant therapies (both immune and targeted) are now available for patients with surgically resected melanoma. As such, there is an increasing rationale to deepen our understanding of primary tumour characteristics, in particular immuno-genomic factors that may help predict outcomes for patients. We are undertaking a comprehensive investigation into the relationship between primary melanomas and metastatic sites, initially in a cohort of 15-20 patients, with the aim of identifying such factors that may warrant further exploration.

One key focus of our project will be on the different genetic changes found between primary and paired metastatic tumours, demonstrating how the tumour cells evolve, spread and mutate over time. The second key focus will be on the increasingly recognised interaction between the genetic changes in the tumour and a patient’s immune system. This will involve a holistic evaluation of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes as well as a more detailed look at the subtypes of immune cells infiltrating the tumour.

Having secured funds to enable the genomic sequencing, we are seeking funding towards the immunology component of this project.

We are delighted that we are able to continue to support the work of Dr Larkin and his team and we thank our very kind and generous supporters and donors for their hard work and contributions.