MPCCC is set to introduce next generation sequencing (NGS)-based tumour genomic profiling to melanoma multi-disciplinary meetings (MDM’s).

The pilot program is co-ordinated by the MPCCC’s Precision Oncology Program team and includes oncologists from the Victorian Melanoma Service and the Medical Genomics Facility at the Monash Health Translation Precinct. Clinical Research Fellows from Alfred Health and bioinformaticians from Monash University are also involved with the program, which is being run in partnership with industry leader, Illumina Pty Ltd.

“This is a proof-of-principle pilot to demonstrate our local research capacity and capability to perform comprehensive tumour genomic profiling of melanoma and to interpret the data,” said program clinical lead and Professor of Oncology at Alfred Health and Monash University, Professor Mark Shackleton.

The collaboration utilises Illumina’s TruSight Oncology-500 (TSO500) comprehensive pan-cancer panel to sequence DNA and RNA extracted from melanoma tissues from Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) sections. The 523 cancer genes cover most tumour streams, including myeloid cancers. TSO-500 surveys for copy number changes, single nucleotide variants, small insertions and deletions, tumour mutational burden, microsatellite instability and also gene fusions.

Dr Nick Wong from Monash University’s Bioinformatics Platform is overseeing analyses of the sequencing data, using software provided by Illumina on the M3/MASSIVE Supercomputing Cluster at Monash University.

“The pilot study is demonstrating our in-house capability to implement, end-to-end, all parts of the wet lab and bioinformatics workflow. This capability is moving from strength to strength, now with the recent acquisition of an Illumina NovaSeq 6000 at the Alfred,” said Dr Wong.

“This comprehensive genomic profiling of solid tumours has potential to uncover genomic insults at unprecedented levels of detail that enable precise matching of therapies to individual patients,” said Prof Shackleton, who presented the data at an Illumina conference in Bangkok this October. A recording of Prof Shackleton’s presentation can be viewed here.

The melanoma pilot data will be used as an educational tool and introduced to melanoma MTBs at Alfred Health in 2020, to be chaired by Associate Professor Victoria Mar, Head of the Victorian Melanoma Service, with a view to running expanded, precinct-wide MPCCC MTBs in 2020.

As a pan-cancer panel, learnings from this use of Illumina’s TSO-500 will be applied to the profiling of other solid tumours types.“It is clear we have the capability and expertise across MPCCC partners to offer outstanding precision -based care to patients across all MPCCC partners,” said MPCCC Program Manager, Ms Vikki Marshall.

For more information about the MTB’s, contact Ms Marshall on The MPCCC Precision Oncology Program is made possible by funding from the Victorian State Government.