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A Historic Moment in the Melanoma Community

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:





Last week, the first-ever FDA approved drug was announced for uveal melanoma. It was cause for major celebration as this represents the first approval for a disease that to-date is where cutaneous melanoma was 25 years ago with respect to FDA approved agents. While we know this news is bittersweet for patients who do not qualify for this drug, we also know that it signifies the beginning of hopefully even more FDA approvals in the future. Many patients played key roles in the approval process. From participating on the clinical trials to working with the MRF as we held the first-ever FDA listening session for ocular melanoma, they shared their stories and urged the FDA to speed up the approval process.

At the MRF, we believe that patients are critical to the research and drug development process and their input is vital to its success. Patients are a part of the MRF’s grant review process and their feedback on grants is a key factor in the Scientific Advisory Committee’s final scoring of what the Foundation supports. If you would like to lend your voice to this process, we encourage you to do so. It is time well spent and the outcomes could influence the future of melanoma treatments.



With gratitude,


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Support the MRF

FDA Approves First Uveal Melanoma Treatment

On January 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of KIMMTRAK (tebentafusp-tebn), the first and only FDA-approved treatment for metastatic uveal melanoma, developed by Immunocore. The approval follows Phase III clinical trial data that showed a statistically and clinically meaningful overall survival benefit in unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma. The therapy is expected to be available in the United States within weeks, and a global early access program is underway. Click below to read the official press release, including quotes from MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira, MBA and CURE OM Co-Founder and Director Sara Selig, MD, MPH:

FDA Approves First Uveal Melanoma Treatment
 
 

Register Today: 2022 Virtual Advocacy Days

Sign up today: the 2022 Virtual Advocacy Days will be March 7-11, 2022! The MRF's Advocacy Days is the largest melanoma advocacy event of the year and unites melanoma advocates from across the country to meet with members of Congress to urge them to make melanoma a national priority. Due to the continued impact of the pandemic, the 2022 Advocacy Days will be entirely virtual, but we will still be a powerful voice on Capitol Hill! In order to schedule virtual meetings with Congressional offices, registration is required by February 28, 2022. For questions about the event or the MRF’s Advocacy program, please email advocacy@melanoma.org.

The MRF thanks 2022 Advocacy Days sponsors Bristol Myers Squibb, Genentech and Pfizer.

MRF Announces Career Development Award Recipients

MRF Career Development Awards (CDAs) support junior investigators who are beginning a research career focused on melanoma through research funding up to $100,000 over a two-year grant period. In 2021, the MRF awarded seven CDA grants, supporting research topics spanning melanoma immunotherapy to BRAF-mutant treatment resistance to pediatric melanoma and more. Learn more about each grant recipient and their proposal below, and for more information about the 2021 and previous grant recipients, visit the MRF Research Center.




MRF Research Center

Melanoma Research Funding: Apply by March 1

In 2022, the MRF will offer numerous research opportunities including Team, Mid-Career Bridge, Established Investigators, Career Development and Medical Student Awards. Deadlines for the Team, Established Investigator, and Career Development Awards are rapidly approaching. Specific RFPs for these grant opportunities can be found on the MRF Research Grants RFP page.

Application deadlines and eligibility requirements can be found at the link below:

Apply for 2022 Research Funding

Join the Pediatric Melanoma Summit in July

While we eagerly anticipated the Pediatric Melanoma Summit in January, due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Omicron variant concerns and out of an abundance of caution, the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) rescheduled the Pediatric Summit until July 22-24, 2022. Registration for the new event is now open, and participants who previously registered for the January date will need to update their reservation. Click here to learn more about the event including health and safety protocols at Great Wolf Lodge, how to make a new hotel reservation and more. For any additional questions about the Summit or the MRF's pediatric melanoma program, please email education@melanoma.org.

MRF Board Welcomes Dr. Laura Ferris

In January, Laura Ferris, MD, PhD joined the Melanoma Research Foundation Board of Directors. Dr. Ferris practices general medical dermatology with a special focus on skin cancer and psoriasis. She also directs the Clinical Trials Unit in the UPMC Department of Dermatology and has served as a principal investigator on more than 30 clinical trials in dermatology, primarily in the area of new treatments for psoriasis. She has been an invited speaker at several national and international meetings and has published more than 60 book chapters and articles in the peer-reviewed literature. Prior to joining the Board, Dr. Ferris's work with the MRF included assisting with the creation of melanoma animated patient videos.

The MRF Board of Directors is comprised of melanoma physicians, researchers, patients, survivors and caregivers. Board members work with MRF staff to define the vision, mission and values of the organization to ensure its continued success. Learn more about current MRF Board members below:

MRF Board of Directors

Shop or Sell to Support the MRF!

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is proud to partner with Farber Auctioneers & Appraisers to support the acceleration and funding of medical research, education and advocacy for the melanoma community. Join Farber, a global solution for all your purchasing and resale needs of jewelry, coins, silver, art and home décor for their February Jewels and Timepieces online auction on February 22, 2022, at 10:00am ET.

Farber will donate a percentage of all auction purchases and sales derived from the MRF to support our mission-driven work. Visit https://www.farberauctions.com/farber-gives-back/ to learn more and view the catalog available exclusively to the MRF community on February 8th. When registering please use MRF in the company field. For more information, or to make an in-person or virtual viewing appointment contact cs@farberauctions.com or call (215) 798-3202 and mention MRF when speaking to a Farber associate.

Learn more about the MRF/Farber Auctioneers & Appraisers partnership under the cause marketing section of our website.

Farber Gives Back
 

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  • June 3, 2022: MRFBC Bi-Annual Meeting
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