10 November 2021

A wrap-up of the Clinical Workshop Melanoma: looking into present approaches and what the future looks like

Bianca-Olivia Nita

Bianca-Olivia Nita

Due to restrictions linked to the pandemic, the Clinical Workshop Melanoma had to be postponed from last year to October this year. The restrictions relaxed and finally being able to come together, the long-expected event could take place. We now look back at a successful workshop that took place on the 5thof October at the Oncode office in Utrecht.

The goal of the event was to bring together clinicians and clinical and basic researchers to discuss the tumor type melanoma, and to discuss current trends and unmet needs both within the clinic and in (clinical) research. The workshop aimed to also explore how basic research can address these unmet clinical needs and to stimulate new collaborations through translational and clinical projects.

Chaired by clinician Karijn Suijkerbuijk (UMCU) and Oncode Investigator Sjoerd van der Burg (LUMC), the topics of the presentations included Familial melanoma, Immune therapy, Tumour and Immune Cell Therapy Combinations, Checkpoint inhibition and the Dutch Melanoma Treatment Registry.

A total of 44 experts - mixing clinical and basic researchers, Oncode researchers, clinicians, and industry - participated in the event. And beyond the interesting presentations, the participants appreciated the setting which opened the space for new and relevant discussions, interaction, and networking.

About 7000 people are diagnosed with melanoma in The Netherlands each year, with 80% of patients being cured by excision and a mortality rate of 900 a year. 10% of the patients have a family history linked to it. Therefore, understanding the genetic basis of melanoma susceptibility gives insight into tumor suppressor mechanisms and provides opportunity for personalized surveillance, prevention and possibly treatment.

At this point, neoadjuvant immunotherapy seems to turn into the number one approach to treating melanoma in the next five years with the ambition of more cure and less surgery. During the event, novel combination therapies were discussed and including the importance of the tumor microenvironment - the event offered a good current overview of the field, comparing current therapies, looking into ongoing clinical trials and what the future can bring.

For future events, please keep an eye on our Event Page.

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