New Nedlands facilities to benefit WA melanoma patients

Professor Michael Millward and Professor Peter Leedman at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, which has just opened the WA Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service (WAKMAS).
Professor Michael Millward and Professor Peter Leedman at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, which has just opened the WA Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service (WAKMAS).

PERTH melanoma patients are set to contribute to vital cancer research and benefit from cutting-edge treatments at new facilities in Nedlands.

The WA Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service (WAKMAS) is based at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, with a multidisciplinary team of experts on hand to review complex cases.

Perkins director and WAKMAS committee member Professor Peter Leedman said the centre saw its first patients this week, and plans on integrating targeted therapies and new immunotherapies to significantly improve patient outcomes.

“The goal is to integrate more clinical research in to the environment, and do discovery research around these patients,” he said.

Prof Leedman said he hoped the facility would draw new academic research personnel.

The service combines the WA Melanoma Advisory Service and Kirkbride Melanoma Centre; the latter was named for keen sportsman and Cottesloe Golf Course pro Scott Kirkbride, who was only 27 when he lost his battle with melanoma in 2004.

Mr Kirkbride’s family was driven by his determination to help others when they started the Kirkbride Melanoma Centre; the centre has since raised more than $1.65 million towards melanoma research in WA.

WAKMAS deputy director and Cancer Council Professor of Clinical Cancer Research Michael Millward said the new facility means a centralised location to assess and offer best practice treatment to patients.

“The goal is to become a melanoma place that’s able to become part of the wider Australian melanoma community,” he said.

Prof Millward said current work underway includes detecting and monitoring melanoma in blood samples from patients who have previously had the condition.

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