Marking melanoma cancer awareness month: Vall d´Hebron updates on its multidisciplinary and purely translational approach to more effectively treating this tumor type

The incidence of melanoma skin cancers has been substantially increasing over the past decades with an estimated 132,000 cases occurring globally each year. According to a recent research article published in the journal Clinical Translational Oncology* in 2015, 4890 new estimated cases of skin melanoma were diagnosed in Spain, and it ranked as the 7th most incident type of cancer in the EU-27 in 2012.

As a notoriously aggressive tumor type, melanoma, while typically easier to detect in its early stages, is more likely to metastasize and spread. Advanced metastatic melanoma patients consequently often face a poor prognosis, with few therapeutic avenues available. Over recent years however, there have been several breakthroughs in empowering anti-cancer strategies aimed at thwarting this disease. Revolutionary advances in immunotherapeutics against melanoma are rapidly progressing the treatment of melanoma and we are witnessing an increasing suite of promising immune-based therapies that are also delivering their powerful blows in combination.

Reporting on pioneering discovery developed and led by preclinical and clinical research teams, in essential connectivity with other leading specialists in dermatology, pathological anatomy, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, and radiotherapy, across the Vall d´Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, the latest news issued by the Campus updates on the teams who work together to advance research and practice aimed at significantly improving outcomes for these patients. It is thanks to the purely multidisciplinary and translational ethos and spirit embraced by all, that Vall d´Hebron has rapidly become a reference in cancer science and medicine against melanoma.

More specifically, VHIO´s Melanoma Group, led by Eva Muñoz, also Medical Oncologist and Clinical Fellow of our Breast Cancer Group led by Cristina Saura, has marked significant progress by actively participating in some of the most important phase I, II and III clinical trials with several emerging therapies in metastatic and adjuvant melanoma. Focused on advancing insights into acquired resistance and progression in melanoma, Alena Gros, who recently joined VHIO as Principal Investigator of our Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Group, will flank these collective efforts by investigating mechanisms of response, toxicity and resistance to novel immunotherapeutics, as well as identify biomarkers of response to these treatments in liquid biopsies.

To view the news compiled and issued by the Vall d´Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, please see the PDF attached below.



*Galceran, J., Ameijide, A., Carulla, M. et al. Cancer Incidence in Spain, 2015. Clin Transl Oncol (2017). doi:10.1007/s12094-016-1607-9.

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