Skin and eye melanoma
Rare cancer of the skin and eye melanoma
The domain 9 of EURACAN is dedicated to rare adult skin cancers and non-cutaneous melanoma. Rare skin cancers of the adults consist of skin sarcomas, Kaposi sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinomas and adnexal tumours, which require all specific diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and a strong need for prospective clinical and translational research.
Furthermore, this domain is dedicated to non-cutaneous melanoma such as uveal melanoma and mucosal melanoma, whose natural history, biology and management is in sharp contrast from skin melanomas. Multidisciplinarity is essential in the diagnostic and therapeutic phase, and also to generate innovative clinical and translational research programs.
For example in uveal melanoma, there is no systemic adjuvant treatment available to reduce the risk of metastasis or to improve survival in high-risk patients. There is also no standard systemic treatment available for metastatic UM patients, and BRAF/MEK and immune checkpoint inhibitors show disappointing results when compared to cutaneous melanoma (CM). In some cases, local treatment with resection and/or radiofrequency ablation of metastases is possible but this is seldom. In the absence of standard of care treatment options, patients should be referred to expert centres for dedicated clinical trials.
Progresses in survival will arise from the gathering of groups of experienced specialists in national and international networks, which may provide collaborative efforts to better understand the biology of rare skin cancers and non-cutaneous melanoma and to develop innovative treatment approaches. EURACAN provides an infrastructure integrating national networks and European health care providers (HCPs) with a high level of expertise but also European patient advocacy groups (ePAGs) that together act as focal points for research on rare tumors and keys in the dissemination of knowledge and information. Lastly, the ERN EURACAN represents a unique European effort to address the urgent and unmet clinical needs.