According to a press release from British biotechnology company Immunocore, the Company has partnered with Pulse Infoframe (a Canadian data analytics company) to support the development of an international database of uveal melanoma cases.
The database will track a number of important treatment metrics like genetic markers, risk factors, and prognoses.
About Uveal Melanoma
Uveal melanoma is a form of cancer affecting tissues of the eye. Intraocular malignancies are extremely rare — there are estimated to be only some three-thousand cases diagnosed in the United States every year.
Uveal melanoma is the most common form of intraocular malignancy, accounting for about 5% of all melanomas in the United States. It affects the middle layer of the eye, sometimes called the uvea or uveal tract. The uvea itself includes several sensitive and vitally important parts of the eye, including the iris, ciliary body, and choroid.
The iris is the colored ring that surrounds your pupil. Its size is determined by the activity of the ciliary body — a ring of tissue and muscle fiber behind the iris that controls dilation of the pupils. The choroid is a bundle of blood vessels that keeps the eye oxygenated and healthy. Although melanoma of the iris grows slowly and doesn’t often metastasize, melanomas of the ciliary body and choroid tend to be larger and spread more aggressively.
Depending on the size and location of the melanoma, patients have a few standard treatment options. They include surgery, radiation therapy, laser coagulation (laser therapy), thermotherapy, and “watchful waiting” — essentially closely following the progression of the melanoma without immediate treatment. If the melanoma worsens, physicians will treat it.
Five-year survival rates are good (over 50%) for iris melanoma (>95%) patients and individuals with small-or-medium sized choroidal melanoma. Patients with large choroidal melanoma, or any ciliary body melanoma have worse prognoses — generally because by the time they are discovered and diagnosed, they have grown significantly or have spread to other areas of the body.
Global Patient Registry
In an effort to improve understanding of these cancers, Immunocore and Pulse Infoframe plan to support a multinational research initiative that was first launched in 2016.
The initiative will collect information from participating institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The information will then be made freely available to participating researchers. The result is a pool of information far larger than what is individually available in any of the participating countries.
Pulse Infoframe founder Dr. Femida Gwadry-Sridhar believes the registry will “…provide a detailed look into uveal melanoma from a global perspective.”
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