Description

EORTC research in Melanoma aims to improve the clinical care of patients suffering with cutaneous or ocular melanoma, and to increase knowledge about melanoma acquisition and progression.

Main Achievements

EORTC research in this field has showed that sentinel node tumour burden according to the Rotterdam Criteria and the microanatomic location were the most important prognostic factors for melanoma-specific survival and non-sentinel node positivity in the completion lymph node dissection specimen. Based on this work, nowadays sentinel node tumor burden ≥ 1 mm is considered high risk and used for inclusion in adjuvant therapy trials.

EORTC studies also showed that the interferon-a adjuvant targeted therapy should be given to in a targeted patient population, and should probably not be offered to 70% of the patients that are currently being given this treatment.

Thanks to EORTC trial 18991, the United States Federal Drug Agency (US FDA) approved Sylatron™, pegylated interferon a-2b, for the treatment of melanoma patients with microscopic or gross nodal involvement within 84 days of definitive surgical resection including complete lymphadenectomy. &

EORTC trial 18071 demonstrated that ipilimumab as an adjuvant therapy not only improved relapse-free survival but also prolonged distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival in patients with high-risk stage III melanoma. The US FDA approved adjuvant Yervoy in melanoma based on these results. &

Related Projects

European Reference Networks (ERN) for rare solid tumours (EURACAN). EURACAN is involving references centers in Europe covering ten types of rare cancers. EURACAN will improve patient cares and facilitate research in rare cancers.  EORTC is providing the clinical research infrastructure. (No website available yet)

Research Group

Group documents
  • Chair

    Alexander van Akkooi

    The Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni Van Leeuwenhoekziekenhuis

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Secretary

    Paul Lorigan

    The University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

    Manchester, United Kingdom

  • Treasurer

    Ghanem Ghanem

    Institut Jules Bordet

    Brussels, Belgium