L.E.K. Consulting supports melanoma research in Australia

23 January 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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According to annual statistics, one person on average dies from melanoma in Australia every six hours. New research is vital to improving patient outcomes, with L.E.K Consulting lending its support.

As the Australian summer kicks into full gear, L.E.K. Consulting partner Mark Streeting has outlined the global strategy consultancy’s support of The Australian Melanoma Research Foundation’s efforts to improve patient outcomes via groundbreaking research into the prevention, treatment, and early detection of the disease.

Streeting also opens up on his own brush with the cancer, one which would ultimately prompt him to join the AMRF board.

L.E.K. Consulting supports melanoma research in Australia

Established in 2006, the AMRF is a national charity which provides funding to the next generation of melanoma research, in particular through grants to post-graduate students and early career researchers.

According to AMRF figures, Australia has one of the highest melanoma rates in the world with some 7,000 new cases diagnosed every year. And while 90 percent of those can be successfully treated through early detection, the country still records 1,300 deaths per annum.

A little over a decade ago, Streeting was diagnosed as one of those unfortunate cases, when a dermatologist noticed a small mole on his foot the day before he was due to fly to Abu Dhabi on a work assignment. That small mole turned out to be a stage 3 melanoma, threatening a consulting career spanning more than two decades, not to mention his own life. In Streeting’s own words, the outlook for someone with advanced melanoma at the time was grim.

Managing to beat the odds, the scare would motivate Streeting to become a member of the AMRF board. Since then, he has also joined L.E.K. Consulting as a partner in the firm’s Transport and New Mobility practice, following earlier career stints at Booz & Company, PwCErnst & Young and Booz Allen Hamilton dating back to 1996, before which he served in the Canberra public service.

His move to L.E.K. Consulting has also brought the firm on board in supporting the AMRF.

Over the past two years, L.E.K. Consulting has hosted two invitational golf days for clients and colleagues to help raise money for the organisation, a fundraising initiative which will be repeated in late March at the NSW Golf Club in La Perouse. In a video posted to YouTube, Streeting notes that the previous events – led by partner and major capital projects advisory lead Joe Sponholz – were successful to the point of funding an entirely new grant awarded by the AMRF.

The recipient, Prachi Bhave of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, will use spatial transcriptomics, a method of molecular profiling, to create an architectural map of cells inside and around an early stage melanoma tumour, which can then offer clues as to what causes the disease to return. Such cutting edge research, Streeting says, is already saving lives, with survival rates from advanced melanoma dramatically increasing over just the past decade.

Indeed, in the ten or so years since his diagnosis, the outcome for those diagnosed with late stage melanoma has improved from a less than 10 percent chance of survival to greater than half. Streeting concludes that with help from this year’s L.E.K. Consulting research grant the prevention of advanced melanoma can be brought into sharper focus still, yet warns that despite the progress to date there is still a long way to go “to bring us out of the shadow of this life-altering disease.”