International Melanoma Tissue Bank Consortium (IMTBC)

Participating Branches

  • Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute
  • California Pacific Medical Center
  • Northwestern University’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • International site TBD

WHY is this bank needed?

An International Melanoma Tissue Bank of annotated fresh frozen primary melanoma tissue is the fundamental research tool that does not exist yet for public or private research. Major advances, particularly within breast and prostate cancer, resulted from similar banks. Consequently, melanoma research lags significantly behind the progress that has been made in other cancer research.

HOW will this bank differ from existing banks?

Several individual melanoma tissue banks already exist at research institutions. Most lack “fresh frozen” samples of “primary” tumor tissue; even fewer preserve both DNA and RNA. They also lack the network necessary to provide an international sample pool of sufficient size, demographics, and full annotation for effective research. Susceptibility, diagnostic, and prognostic biomarkers for melanoma are anticipated from the research generated by an international network of tissue bank branches, leading to more effective personalized diagnostics, preemptive treatment, and targeted therapies.

WHAT are the goals of the bank?

To establish an International Melanoma Tissue Bank with branches at four medical research institutions across the US and one international site. Each institution is recognized for its proven commitment to melanoma research. This network will gather 500 specimens with full annotation and accompanying blood and urine samples over two years. Both public and private medical researchers engaged in qualified research will be able to access the bank for minimal administrative fees.

US Financial Information

A total of $3.3M covers the first 3 years of start up and maintenance. Thereafter, the financial needs are minimal and can be covered by administrative fees and/or funds from multiple pharmaceutical or diagnostics firms. Such firms cannot provide the initial funds because they demand proprietary rights that would negate access by other researchers.

Thanks to your generous donations, we have the initial start-up dollars — $500K – but an additional $2.8M is needed.

Skin of Steel is collaborating with AIM to secure funding for the four US branches and will participate in executive administration.

Together we have made progess. Let’s continue to reshape melanoma research.

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International Melanoma Working Group (IMWG)

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