claim world-first in new
A new global trial into advanced melanoma is underway at Greenslopes
Private Hospital, with the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF)
recruiting the study's first patient.
The GMRF’s Clinical Trials Unit, based at Greenslopes Private Hospital, was the first of 64
sites around the world to begin enrolling patients.
The clinical trial will investigate a combinational therapy for patients who have been recently
diagnosed with advanced melanoma. This category of melanoma means the skin cancer has
spread to lymph nodes, internal organs, bones and other sites within the body.
The combinational therapy is comprised of a registered immuno-oncology drug and a new
target for the tumour environment. Potential outcomes of this trial may include disease
remission or prevention of further tumour spread.
“The Clinical Trials Unit is very proud to work closely with principal investigators at
Greenslopes Private Hospital such as medical oncologist Dr Victoria Atkinson to offer
this clinical trial opportunity to patients undergoing cancer treatment,” said Clinical Trial
Coordinator Nish Santrampurwala.
“We are always aiming to provide clinicians and patients with access to new and emerging
medications, in order to convert medical advances into improved patient care. We hope
this trial will bring us closer to a more effective melanoma treatment option,” said Ms
Dr Victoria Atkinson said, “While melanoma isn’t the most common cancer in 15 to 40 year
olds, it is the most common cause of cancer death in that age group. Recent advancements
in cancer research and clinical trials are gradually creating better treatment options and we
are committed to continuing to explore new pathways to further enhance patient outcomes.”
Clinical trials unit voted
Australia’s best site
Suzanne Elliott and Miriam Dwyer
8 The Ramsay Way 2018 | 03
Nurse Ranee Saffioti and GMRF Research Officer Bronwyn Casey
Leon Betts, father of Brisbane sun safety campaigner Emma Betts who lost her battle with
melanoma in 2017, said he supported meaningful research that focuses on helping patients
in the advanced stages of the disease.
“Emma was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 22, and was initially given three months
to live. However, medical advancements prolonged her life and allowed her to fundraise
and generate widespread awareness until she passed away at the age of 25 at Greenslopes
Private Hospital. She was an extremely brave young woman and our family is proud to carry
on her legacy of sun safety advocacy.”
The Clinical Trials Unit at the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation has developed
successful partnerships with research organisations and pharmaceutical companies to
provide first-class conduct, management, and coordination of multi-centre national and
international clinical research trials.
For a list of GMRF studies currently open for recruitment, visit:
The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation’s Clinical Trials Unit,
based at Ramsay’s Greenslopes Private Hospital, has been
voted the Favourite Investigational Site in Australia for 2018.
GMRF received the honour for the second year in a row at the ARCS Australia
Annual Scientific Meeting.
The awards are an opportunity for industry peers to nominate the companies
or people who they believe have made a bold and significant contribution to
the development and growth of the health care sector.
CEO Miriam Dwyer and Clinical Trials Unit Manager Suzanne Elliott accepted
the award on behalf of the team.
Ramsay Health Care would like to congratulate Miriam, Suzanne, and the entire
team on this wonderful recognition of their hard work and commitment to
undertaking life-changing medical research.
New trial drug targets
John Flynn Private Hospital is
the first site in the world to begin
trialling a TRAIL-Trimer fusion
protein for cancer patients with
Malignant ascites are an abnormal
accumulation of fluid, caused by cancer,
in the area surrounding organs in the
abdomen. There are currently no targeted or
biologic anti-tumour therapies approved and
available to reduce production or prevent
re-accumulation of malignant ascites.
A 69-year-old woman with advanced
ovarian cancer was the first patient to be
treated with the drug, known as SCB-313,
at John Flynn Private Hospital.
Based on the patient’s initial data, there
appeared to be some preliminary evidence
of SCB-313’s efficacy in killing ascites
tumour cells, reducing ascites production,
and prolonging the time until the recurrence
Joshua Liang, Chief Strategy Officer
at Clover Biopharmaceuticals, said the
company is excited about the initiation of
“The treatment of malignant ascites
remains a high unmet need globally, with
no targeted or biologic antitumor therapies
currently approved and available, and we
hope that SCB-313 will provide a safe and
efficacious option for patients worldwide,”
Mr Liang said.
The Phase I, open-label, dose escalation,
multi-centre trial is designed to assess the
safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and
preliminary efficacy of intraperitoneally
administered SCB-313 as a single-agent for
the treatment of malignant ascites.