University College Dublin will lead a €1.7M European project focused on bringing novel melanoma diagnostics towards the clinic. The European Seventh Framework Programme has announced funding for a four-year international research programme, SYS-MEL, centred on new diagnostics in the melanoma arena. Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and currently there are few effective therapies for later stages of the disease.
The BRAF mutation believed to drive disease in about half of patients with melanoma was found to occur at a significantly lower frequency in patients with melanoma in Ireland, according to data presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, held in Washington, D.C., April 6-10. The study, which included two independent cohorts of patients in Europe, revealed that only about 20 percent of a cohort of Irish patients with melanoma harbored a BRAF mutation.