Education and awareness

Following a successful bid by Professors Lorigan and Marais to the SMR committee this international meeting was held in Manchester in October 2018. This prestigious annual event has never been in the UK before (and only in Europe three times) but Manchester was chosen as a host because it sets a successful example of collaborative working between clinical and basic research. 800 scientists and clinicians attended over three days at Manchester Central, presentations featured a lot of unpublished basic and translational research.

The EORTC Melanoma Group meeting was held there in parallel.

Mr. Howard Peach is a Plastic and reconstructive surgeon who will be chairing this meeting and writes:

"We very much look forward to welcoming you to this meeting on Thursday 17th May [2-5pm]. This is an important attempt to reach a much-needed consensus on several key clinical issues around sentinel node biopsy.

There will be three sessions to the afternoon, pathology, surgery and oncology, with the emphasis on the first two of these. Each session will be chaired by a nationally-recognised expert, who will summarise the concerns, issues and current international views relevant to each module. The programme is set out to allow time for discussion after this, so constructive audience participation and questions will be welcomed. 

There has been much published on these areas, but I thought the attached links to a few formative papers could help steer your thoughts. It would be helpful to the discussions if you could ensure you have read these prior to the meeting. Think of it as form teacher setting some homework!"

Please arrive at 1.30pm in time for a 2pm start. 


YMCA Cambridge (Melanoma Focus’s office), Queen Anne House, Gonville Place, Cambridge CB1 1ND.


Key questions on which to agree a consensus view

  1. Who do we offer SLNB to?
  2. Is the current RCPATH/EORTC protocol the standard of care? Can it be simplified/improved?
  3. How should we manage patients with a positive SLNB?

     - Role of completion lymphadenectomy

     - Imaging FU of nodal basin


Individual Sessions

  1. Pathology

     1.1  Introduction to SLNB pathology

     1.2 Is there a minimum significant size of the metastasis?

     1.3 Current RCPATH/EORTC protocol

        - Outline

        - Can it be simplified/improved?

            - Risk of false negative

  1. Surgery

     2.1 Who do/should we offer SLNB to?

            - Head and neck

            - >4mm

            - 1mm and less

     2.2  Discuss the MSLT-1 & -2 data

     2.3  Role of imaging FU after SLNB

        - Nodal basin

        - Imaging for metastatic disease

  1. Oncology

     3.1 Brief overview of the adjuvant therapy landscape

     3.2  TNM Version 8

Email Simon Rodwell with any queries.

Brain metastasis remains a major problem in melanoma despite the advances in targeted therapy and immunotherapy.  In addition, there are questions around how to combine systemic therapy with stereotactic radiosurgery and emerging data on mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapy and immunotherapy in brain metastasis.  We have a great opportunity in Manchester to make progress in this area because of our range of expertise i.e. neurosurgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, systemic therapy and basic/translational research.  The purpose of this meeting was to update clinicians on the current developments and draw up some strategies for clinical and research collaboration. 

The first conference in the UK developed by and for melanoma patients was held in Bristol in June 2016 and received positive feedback from patients and colleagues alike. The 2nd successful meeting was in Solihull on June 17th 2017, Professor Lorigan was an invited speaker. You can see all the presentations on the Conference website. (Useful links)

Uveal melanoma is a rare form of eye cancer. Until now there has been no national guidance for its treatment. These new guidelines were developed over three years by an independent group (including clinicians and patients). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved these guidelines. NICE provides guidance and advice to improve health and social care nationally.

Melanoma Focus funded the project, read more about the Uveal Melanoma Guidelines Project.

Melanoma Focus was launched in 2012, combining a fundraising charity and the Melanoma Study Group. Melanoma Focus differs from many other medical charities in combining a professional core membership, consisting of melanoma scientists, clinicians and nurses, with a mission to undertake research and education, while providing information at various levels for patients, carers and other healthcare professionals.

Through its website the charity aims to bring together the various sources of online information available in the UK and internationally.

They organise many fund-raising events - for full details please go to the MF fundraising specific website via Useful links.

Prof. Lorigan took up the post of Chairman in 2013, with the support of the previous Chair Professor Jerry Marsden: 'Dr. Lorigan has an outstanding record of national leadership in the field of melanoma, very successfully chairing the NCRI Melanoma Clinical Studies Group from 2006-2012. He is very highly regarded internationally. We could not ask for a better person to lead Melanoma Focus at this critical stage in its evolution.'

News about funding by MF for Patient Impact projects is detailed on the Research News page.

Recent reports published in scientific journals are 'translated' into non-academic language which can be understood by patients and members of the public, as well as for non-specialist healthcare professionals who need a quick overview of the subject. 

The Melanoma Focus website has a page detailing forthcoming events.

The recently formed MWS has made a strong committment to education in their mission statement, go to the site via our Useful links to learn more.