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  • Thursday, March 31, 2016
  • 4:00 PM–5:00 PM
  • Science Buiding 203

David Monsma, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Preclinical Therapeutics-Vivarium, Van Andel Research Institute

Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, accounting for only 1% of all skin cancers but responsible for most deaths due to skin cancer.  Over 75,000 new cases of melanoma are estimated to have been diagnosed in the US in 2016 with greater than 10,000 deaths.  A large number of melanoma deaths are due a BRAF mutant form of melanomas (60% of all melanomas) that develop resistance to FDA approved melanoma therapy with Vemurafenib, a BRAF enzyme inhibitor.  To date there are few preclinical models that recapitulate Vemurafenib-resistance in melanoma that would allow for development of C to address this pressing clinical problem.  Using a panel of patient-derived xenograft models developed at the Van Andel Research Institute, we have begun to create a panel Vemurafenib-resistant models of melanoma and identify the resistance mechanisms.  The goal of this project is to use PDX models to identify and test druggable pathways to overcome Vemurafenib resistance for a sustained response to therapy for patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma. The public is welcome and light snacks will be available before the talk begins.

 

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