13 May 2019
Immunocore Launches Campaign to Educate Physicians on Rare Eye Cancer
ThinkUvealMelanoma.com underscores urgency for early intervention
(Oxfordshire, UK and Pennsylvania and Maryland, US, 13 May 2019) Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare and aggressive form of cancer with a poor prognosis once it spreads beyond the eye. Immunocore Limited, a leading T Cell Receptor (TCR) biotechnology company, has launched ThinkUvealMelanoma.com, a comprehensive resource to aid physicians on the front line in detecting and managing the disease.
Each year, approximately 8,000 patients are diagnosed with UM globally and in nearly half of these patients, the cancer spreads – or metastasizes – to other parts of the body, most commonly the liver, lungs, skin and bones.[i],[ii],[iii] As metastatic UM runs its course, treatment options are limited with only an estimated 40 percent of patients surviving for one year.[iv]
“The vast majority of uveal melanoma cases present as localized disease in the eye, however, detecting it can be challenging depending on the size, location and appearance of the lesion,” said Howard Goodall, Global Head of Medical Affairs at Immunocore. “We created the Think Uveal Melanoma website to elevate awareness of this devastating disease, including how to identify it and the importance of systemic surveillance after treatment of the primary tumour.”
ThinkUvealMelanoma.com offers physicians useful resources and information on the signs and symptoms, risk factors and management of UM. The site features an interactive tool that brings to life the common visual disturbances patients may experience and provides clinical perspectives through a video series featuring Bertil Damato, MD, PhD, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Important links to advocacy information that can be shared with patients are also provided.
“Approximately one in five patients with symptoms of uveal melanoma reports that their tumour was initially missed, and those patients are unfortunately more likely to have their eye removed,” said Dr. Damato. “Resources such as Think Uveal Melanoma are meant to aid physicians in detecting and managing the disease.”
ThinkUvealMelanoma.com will be updated throughout the year with educational tools and insights from ocular and oncology experts. If you are a healthcare professional, please visit www.ThinkUvealMelanoma.com to sign up to receive e-mail updates about new content, including information about UM, expert clinical perspectives and patient resources.
[i] Pandiani C, Béranger GE, Leclerc J, Ballotti R, Bertolotto C. Focus on cutaneous and uveal melanoma specificities. Genes Dev. 2017;31(8):724-743.
[ii] Carvajal RD, Schwartz GK, Tezel T, Marr B, Francis JH, Nathan PD. Metastatic disease from uveal melanoma: treatment options and future prospects [published online for public access]. Br J Ophthalmol. 2017;101(1):38-44
[iii] Carvajal RD. Management of metastatic uveal melanoma. Up To Date website. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/management-of-metastatic-uveal-melanoma?search=management%20of%20metastatic%20uveal%20melanoma&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~4&usage_type=default&display_rank=1. Accessed April 2019.
[iv] Khoja L, Atenafu E, Joshua A, and The International Rare Cancer's Initiative-Ocular Melanoma Group. 2016. Meta-analysis of phase II trials in metastatic uveal melanoma (MUM) to determine progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) benchmarks for future phase II trials: An irci-ocular melanoma initiative. Journal of Clinical Oncology 34:15_suppl, 9567-9567
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