University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Overview

Research in the UPCI Melanoma Program (MP) focuses on the central molecular events that fuel the inception and progression of melanoma, and on the development of more effective, less toxic, and increasingly personalized therapy for melanoma patients to improve outcomes in the advanced and adjuvant settings. The MP is also working to increase prevention rates to decrease the likelihood of developing melanoma, and to promote early detection to increase the likelihood of survival and cure for melanoma patients.

Since 1985, UPCI's MP has demonstrated a commitment to advancing melanoma research and developing innovative and effective therapies for melanoma patients. Recognizing the importance of a multidisciplinary team approach to understanding and treating cancer, the MP draws from the expertise of its diverse members and from those of other UPCI programs. As one of the leading international centers for translational studies of melanoma, the UPCI MP contributes to an active dialogue among cancer center melanoma programs across the country and around the globe, leading to increased insights into melanoma biology and improved treatment.

The overall mission of the MP is to improve the clinical outcome of patients with melanoma. The specific research goals of the MP are to:

  1. Advance our understanding of melanoma progression and immune escape in the tumor microenvironment;
  2. Establish the scientific rationale for more effective new therapies of melanoma, and to translate these findings into novel investigator-initiated local, national and international cooperative group trials;
  3. Develop more effective therapies for melanoma brain metastasis (MBM);
  4. Develop more effective adjuvant therapies for melanoma, and identify novel biomarkers of clinical outcome and response to therapy that may guide application of new therapies and combinations toward more effective outcomes; and
  5. Promote early detection and treatment of melanoma in our catchment area.