Welcome to the European Journal of Cancer’s Advances in Melanoma Resource Centre.

The Resource Centre, edited by Prof. Reinhard Dummer, Dr. Paolo Ascierto and Dr. James Larkin, will provide you with the latest research on melanoma, including a selection of original research and review articles from some of the world’s leading journals, case studies, and other educational material.

New articles will be added to the Resource Centre regularly and are openly available to our readers.

Paper of the month

  • Combination of vemurafenib and cobimetinib in patients with advanced BRAF V600-mutated melanoma: a phase 1b study

    Antoni Ribas, Rene Gonzalez, Anna Pavlick, Omid Hamid, Thomas F Gajewski, Adil Daud, Lawrence Flaherty, Theodore Logan, Bartosz Chmielowski, Karl Lewis, Damien Kee, Peter Boasberg, Ming Yin, Iris Chan, Luna Musib, Nicholas Choong, Igor Puzanov, Grant A Mc

    Original Research Article The Lancet Oncology, Volume 15, Issue 9, August 2014, Pages 954-965

    Editor's comments:
    This is a dose-escalation phase I trial which enrolled 129 patients with advanced melanoma BRAFV600 mutant; all these patients were divided in two different cohorts: the previously treated with BRAF inhibitors and the naive to BRAF inhibitors treatment. They received vemurafenib and cobimetinib at progressively increasing doses in the different cohorts and the maximum tolerated dose established for the combination corresponds to that of the two drugs in monotherapy. The toxicity profile was acceptable with the reduction of some peculiar side effects of BRAF inhibitors, such as squamous cell carcinomas, compared with data from studies of vemurafenib monotherapy. This was probably due to the attenuation of the paradoxal BRAF-induced activation of the MAPK pathway in normal tissues, induced by the simultaneous inhibition of MEK. The combination therapy in vemurafenib-naive patients has given encouraging results. The most significant data is certainly the PFS of 13 months much higher than that of 6-7 months obtained with vemurafenib monotherapy. Of course this finding requires confirmation in the ongoing phase III trial.

Latest articles

  • AurkA inhibitors enhance the effects of B-RAF and MEK inhibitors in melanoma treatment.

    Caputo E, Miceli R, Motti M, Taté R, Fratangelo F, Botti G, Mozzillo N, Carriero M, Cavalcanti E, Palmieri G, Ciliberto G, Pirozzi G, Ascierto P.

    J Transl Med. 2014 Jul 31;12(1):216. [Epub ahead of print]

    Editor's comments:
    In this work it was explored the effect of a triple combination with BRAF and MEK inhibitors together with an Aurora kinase A inhibitor, on a melanoma cell line in a 3D human skin model. For the first time it was observed that BRAF, MEK and AurkA inhibitor triple drug combination may increased efficacy against melanoma cell growth and could be potentially explored in a clinical trial for enhancing clinical response in melanoma

  • The immune-related role of BRAF in melanoma

    Sara Tomei, Davide Bedognetti, Valeria De Giorgi, Michele Sommariva, Sara Civini, Jennifer Reinboth, Muna Al Hashmi, Maria Libera Ascierto, Qiuzhen Liu, Ben D. Ayotte, Andrea Worschech, Lorenzo Uccellini, Paolo A. Ascierto, David Stroncek, Giuseppe Palmie

    Original Research Article Molecular Oncology, In Press, Uncorrected Proof, Available online 6 August 2014

    Editor's comments:
    The role of oncogenes BRAF and NRAS has been extensively described with regard to their ability to promote tumor growth. It is not yet clear their role to influence the modulation of the immune response against the tumor. In this study it was investigated the correlation between the presence NRAS or BRAF mutation, the gene expression profile and the presence of one of the two different immune phenotypes, the Th17 and the Th1, which were previously connected to different classes of prognosis. According to this study, the BRAF mutation was associated with a worse prognosis immunophenotype, while there was no clear correlation between the mutation of NRAS and the context of tumor immunology. Despite the great interest of these results, it remains unclear what are the mechanisms that underlie this association and what are the possible clinical implications.

  • No longer an untreatable disease: How targeted and immunotherapies have changed the management of melanoma patients

    Maria Romina Girotti, Grazia Saturno, Paul Lorigan, Richard Marais

    Review Article Molecular Oncology, In Press, Uncorrected Proof, Available online 15 August 2014

    Editor's comments:
    This is a review which comprehensively covers the enormous progress made in recent years in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Starting from the explanation of the biological mechanisms which underlie them, the authors clearly illustrate the basis in the development of the various target therapies, in particular BRAF and MEK inhibitors, and the different immunotherapeutic drugs, first of all the anti-CTLA-4 ipilimumab, followed by anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1, not forgetting to emphasize the importance of combination therapy, which are currently the main hope for further future progress.

About the editors

Professor Reinhard G. Dummer
Professor Dummer is Vice-Chairman of the Department of Dermatology and Head of the Skin Cancer Unit at the University Hospital of Zürich.



Dr. James Larkin
Dr James Larkin, FRCP PhD is a Medical Oncologist specialising in the treatment
of patients with cancer of the kidney and cancers of the skin, including melanoma


Dr. Paolo A. Ascierto
Dr. Paolo A. Ascierto is Director at the Unit of Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy, National Tumor Institute ‘Fondazione G. Pascale’, in Naples, Italy.







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Event planner

  • Sep 2014
    Sep 2014

    1st Euro-Asian Melanoma Congress

    Hotel Bristol Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Sep 2014
    Sep 2014

    Perspectives in Melanoma XVIII

    Dublin, Ireland
  • Oct 2014
    Oct 2014

    EORTC Melanoma Group Fall Meeting 2014

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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