Perspectives in Melanoma: meeting report from the Melanoma Bridge (December 2nd – 4th, 2021, Italy)

Paolo A. Ascierto, Sanjiv S. Agarwala, Christian Blank, Corrado Caracò, Richard D. Carvajal, Marc S. Ernstoff, Soldano Ferrone, Bernard A. Fox, Thomas F. Gajewski, Claus Garbe, Jean Jacques Grob, Omid Hamid, Michelle Krogsgaard, Roger S. Lo, Amanda W. Lund, Gabriele Madonna, Olivier Michielin, Bart Neyns, Iman Osman, Solange PetersPoulikos I. Poulikakos, Sergio A. Quezada, Bradley Reinfeld, Laurence Zitvogel, Igor Puzanov, Magdalena Thurin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advances in immune checkpoint and combination therapy have led to improvement in overall survival for patients with advanced melanoma. Improved understanding of the tumor, tumor microenvironment and tumor immune-evasion mechanisms has resulted in new approaches to targeting and harnessing the host immune response. Combination modalities with other immunotherapy agents, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, electrochemotherapy are also being explored to overcome resistance and to potentiate the immune response. In addition, novel approaches such as adoptive cell therapy, oncogenic viruses, vaccines and different strategies of drug administration including sequential, or combination treatment are being tested. Despite the progress in diagnosis of melanocytic lesions, correct classification of patients, selection of appropriate adjuvant and systemic theràapies, and prediction of response to therapy remain real challenges in melanoma. Improved understanding of the tumor microenvironment, tumor immunity and response to therapy has prompted extensive translational and clinical research in melanoma. There is a growing evidence that genomic and immune features of pre-treatment tumor biopsies may correlate with response in patients with melanoma and other cancers, but they have yet to be fully characterized and implemented clinically. Development of novel biomarker platforms may help to improve diagnostics and predictive accuracy for selection of patients for specific treatment. Overall, the future research efforts in melanoma therapeutics and translational research should focus on several aspects including: (a) developing robust biomarkers to predict efficacy of therapeutic modalities to guide clinical decision-making and optimize treatment regimens, (b) identifying mechanisms of therapeutic resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors that are potentially actionable, (c) identifying biomarkers to predict therapy-induced adverse events, and (d) studying mechanism of actions of therapeutic agents and developing algorithms to optimize combination treatments. During the Melanoma Bridge meeting (December 2nd-4th, 2021, Naples, Italy) discussions focused on the currently approved systemic and local therapies for advanced melanoma and discussed novel biomarker strategies and advances in precision medicine as well as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on management of melanoma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number391
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Adjuvant
  • Anti-CTLA-4
  • Anti-PD-1
  • BRAF inhibitor
  • Biomarkers
  • Combination strategies
  • Immunotherapy
  • MEK inhibitor
  • Melanoma
  • Neoadjuvant
  • Target therapy


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