The Melanoma Tissue Bank: Progress Report


As we look back through 2018, perhaps the most exciting news from AIM at Melanoma is the progress on what we call IMTBC—the International Melanoma Tissue Bank Consortium.

AIM is boldly doing something that no other research institution, foundation, or medical center has done for melanoma. AIM has brought together five esteemed institutions and melanoma researchers to establish the first collaborative melanoma tissue bank consortium.

Together, we are collecting more than 500 fresh-frozen primary melanoma tissue samples and corresponding patient data—and then performing much-needed research with those samples to answer some of melanoma’s most critical questions:

Who will develop melanoma, and why?
Whose melanomas will spread and become deadly?
Which drugs will work on which patients?

The five locations are the Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC); Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU); California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC); Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University; and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victoria, Australia.

The Pittsburgh location is awaiting only the results of a series of staff implementation meetings—to finalize protocol and procedure for all processes—before it officially opens. Please expect a grand opening announcement very soon!

The other four locations saw enormous progress in negotiations and planning in 2018—enough so that we feel confident saying that all branches will be operating in early 2019.

Like all of AIM at Melanoma’s research initiatives, IMTBC is a global, collaborative, and transformational melanoma research project: Besides our five principal researchers at each location, researchers from institutions around the world may apply to study the tissue. The Consortium will grant the use of available tissue to promising research projects.

AIM needs your financial support for this project. We’ve raised half the amount we need for the IMTBC. If just 20% of the people receiving this newsletter give $200, the tissue bank will be fully funded for three years. Will you help us reach that goal? Please click here or contact Alicia Rowell, Vice President, AIM at Melanoma.

Onto the grand opening!