Kirane et al Receive MRA Team Science Award

March 29, 2024

A team including Dr. Amanda Kirane has been awarded the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) Team Science Award for their translational therapy-predictive organoid model.

According to the MRA’s website, Team Science Awards “promote transformational melanoma research advances with the potential for rapid clinical translation” and “foster a collaborative research process.”

Kirane, an assitant professor in Stanford Department of Surgery, is Co-PI with Dr. Calvin Kuo, a professor of hematology. Dr. Allison Betof Warner, an assistant professor in oncology, rounds out the team as the Young Investigator.

“There is a pressing unmet need to predict treatment efficacy and identify alternative treatment regimens for patients whose tumors are resistant to standard immunotherapy approaches,” said Kirane. “We have developed a method to grow patient melanoma biopsies in incubators as miniature 3-dimensional aggregates of tumor cells--termed ‘organoids’-- that also preserve the cancer-fighting immune cells within. We have validated that this approach reflects patient responses, and we aim to test the ability to use this model prospectively.”

Kirane says they can also screen the organoid against alternative immunotherapies if the patient’s melanoma is resistant to a given treatment.

“Our long-term goal from this project is to use patient-derived organoids to guide treatment selection for individual patients to improve the safety and efficacy of melanoma treatment,” said Kirane.

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