HonorHealth Research and Innovation Institute announces first-in-human study of tumor treating fields in combination with immunotherapy for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma

A novel clinical trial for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Mar. 16, 2022 — HonorHealth, a leading community healthcare system serving 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, offers a specialized program and expert team of oncology-trained ophthalmologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and interventional specialists devoted to the treatment of uveal melanoma, a rare cancer. HonorHealth Research and Innovation Institute is a regional leader in uveal melanoma and one of the few places offering clinical trials for patients with this diagnosis. This, and other clinical programs, are part of the Institute’s Rare Tumors Initiative, which is focused on developing, and providing patients access to innovative therapies for multiple cancer types.

Uveal melanoma is a rare form of melanoma that develops in the eye. Despite effective treatment options for the local eye tumor, roughly half of patients will develop metastatic disease. For the majority of patients with this diagnosis, there are no FDA approved treatment options and immunotherapy agents or local therapies are commonly used with limited effectiveness. “Our trial combines standard immunotherapy with a new technology, tumor treating fields, seeking to enhance the effects of immunotherapy for those patients lacking other options” noted Justin Moser, MD, associate clinical investigator, HonorHealth Research and Innovation Institute and principal investigator for this study. Tumor treating fields are currently FDA approved for the treatment of other types of cancers such as mesothelioma and glioblastoma multiforme but are considered experimental or “investigational” in this research study.  

“At HonorHealth Research and Innovation Institute, we are focused on patients. Our goal is to provide patients, including those with rare tumors, with access to new options through clinical trials. This clinical trial is a testament to that. We developed this study to ensure Arizonans with this rare cancer have access to leading-edge research” stated Dr. Moser.

This pilot study will enroll 10 patients. Patients interested in this innovative study must be 18 years of age or older, healthy enough to receive treatment and have a confirmed diagnosis of metastatic uveal melanoma with predominant liver involvement.      

Tumor treating fields device and funding for the trial is provided by Novocure Ltd.

More information about this study and general information about participating in oncology clinical trials at HonorHealth Research and Innovation Institute can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov, or by contacting the oncology nurse navigation team by calling 480-323-1364 or emailing clinicaltrials@honorhealth.com.  You may want to talk with your insurance company about its payment policy for clinical trials and standard medical care given during a research study.