Recently, we received an update from Dr Larkin regarding the projects that our supporters and fundraisers have helped progress.

Dr Larkin says:  “Melanoma UK funding has made an invaluable contribution towards two ongoing projects:

1) Work in circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). ctDNA refers to the genetic material from tumour cells which may be found in a patient’s blood, and therefore is accessible by a simple blood test. There is huge potential for this approach to improve patients’ care. We are particularly interested in looking at whether we can detect ctDNA in different types of blood products (serum and plasma) and whether it could be helpful to look for this after a patient has had surgery to remove their melanoma. Thus far, the funding has gone towards our pilot cohort to optimise our in-house techniques in this field.

2) Melanoma PEACE project. Since the update in March, another 4 post-mortems have been carried out. We are extremely grateful for the donations to enable this important work.

We are also collecting blood samples from all the patients who are starting adjuvant immunotherapy at the Marsden. In time this will hopefully be a large group of patients and we can see whether checking information provided by ctDNA at the start of treatment may help predict benefit and/or timing of relapse. In theory this has the potential to give patients some real-time feedback on the benefit of their adjuvant therapy, but also to spare others side effects from ongoing treatment if it will not be useful. Although we have embarked upon collecting the samples in this group under our Melanoma TRACERx study (50 patients so far), we are still seeking funding for this work.”

We are grateful to Dr Larkin for his ongoing support of our patients and we are very proud that we are able to continue to support his valuable work.

With the help of our supporters and fundraisers we will be providing further donations for the above projects.   If you wish to make a donation to support the work of Dr Larkin please click here or email us fundraising@melanomauk.org.uk