Clinical Trials: Shaun’s journey

It’s been a difficult journey for clinical trial patient Shaun Roberson and his wife Stephanee, but 23rd June marked a day to celebrate as a major milestone was met. Diagnosed with melanoma in 2016, Shaun was enrolled in a GMRF Clinical Trial Unit oncology trial soon after and has now just completed his final treatment.

GMRF Senior Clinical Trial Coordinator Bronwyn Casey has been part of Shaun’s clinical trial journey since day one.

“I remember the day I met Shaun and Stephanee,” Bronwyn says. “Shaun was newly diagnosed.  It was a very stressful and emotional time for him and his family.”

In May 2016, Shaun commenced a trial under the coordination of Dr Victoria Atkinson from Greenslopes Private Hospital.  The trial was testing an innovative treatment for patients with stage 3 and 4 melanoma – where the cancer has progressed to an advanced state.

It didn’t take long before positive signs started emerging for Shaun.  A PET scan in February 2017 revealed Complete Response, meaning no active disease.  Shaun continued treatment on trial until last month, when he celebrated with Bronwyn and other members of the CTU team that he had maintained Complete Response and completion of the 2-year treatment phase.

Now, Shaun will contine monitoring with regular follow-ups, but treatment is over and he and the family can begin to look onwards.

“It has been wonderful to be a part of Shaun’s journey so far,” Bronwyn says. “The past two years were a stressful time for the family, but the outcome has been very good.”

GMRF’s Unit has a number of other melanoma trials currently underway, with oncology constituting 80% of the unit’s work. A particular focus is on late stage melanoma where other treatments have been unsuccessful. Find out more about GMRF’s Clinical Trials Unit HERE.