Success: Treatment outcomes in skin cancer

Dr Jessica Duarte

Dr Jessica Duarte is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute

In 2021, Dr Jessica Duarte was generously funded by the Denton Family Trust through Cancer Australia Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.

Through her first Cure Cancer grant in 2019, Dr Jessica was able to develop a non-invasive technology that measures a patient’s response to treatments aimed at boosting immunity. Although she focussed her work on patients undergoing immunotherapy for melanoma, the application of this research has potential for immunotherapy for all cancer types, including ones that are rare and have a few treatment options.

It is especially significant for patients with rare cancer types, as rare cancers have low incidence, low survival rates, and are often excluded from clinical trials and biomarker studies. Through her project, Dr Jessica is measuring the cancer-specific antibody repertoire of rare cancer patients who are undergoing combination immunotherapy. Her current analyses are already showing an improved prediction for treatment outcomes, and she aims to complete data validation in 2022.

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