MRF Breakthrough Consortium

Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium

In 2008, the Senate Committee on Appropriations stated: "...the Committee encourages the NCI to support the creation of a Melanoma Investigators Consortium..."  The NCI did not move to create a Melanoma Investigators Consortium, and to fill the void, the MRF convened a meeting in August 2009 of leading doctors and researchers from melanoma centers of excellence across the United States.  This led to the formation, in 2010, of the MRF Breakthrough Consortium. View the MRFBC brochure!

Mission of the MRFBC

The mission of the MRFBC is to accelerate the research and development of the most promising therapeutics in melanoma in order to deliver curative options to patients.  The Consortium will develop collaborative, multi-sector partnerships across the breadth of melanoma disciplines - basic, translational and clinical science - to expedite development of combinations of therapies as well as novel single agents; support pre-clinical research to facilitate rational combinations; create a virtual annotated specimen biorepository; and identify biomarkers that have prognostic and predictive value or value as a new therapeutic target.

Participating Sites

  • Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • New York University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Pennsylvania/Wistar Institute
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Washington
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Yale University

Core Strategies

The following initiatives have been identified as fundamental to high impact research.  Consortium members are developing an agenda in each area.

  • Design and execution of high impact clinical trials of combinations of or novel single agent therapeutics
  • Development of a collaborative translational research agenda across trials
  • Development of a high quality, virtual specimen repository operating under harmonized SOPs and compliant with regulatory requirements
  • Support for animal modeling in appropriate genetic models of melanoma through a collaborative preclinical consortium, thereby accelerating identification of optimal regimens to test in humans in the MRFBC

News and Events

On February 24, 2010, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Amy Harmon wrote an article in the New York Times focusing on drug development opportunities and challenges.  In that article she described the newly founded Consortium:

" August, leading melanoma researchers from across the country gathered at a meeting in Boston..." referencing the inaugural meeting of the Consortium.  "This is the most important meeting for melanoma patients that's happened in years," said Dr. Lynn Schuchter, chief of oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. 

To read the full article please visit the following link: