The skin cancer center of the UCT Mainz provides multi- and interdisciplinary service for patients with all types of primary and metastatic cutaneous malignancies. This includes surgical procedures, topical and systemic therapies as well as palliative, psychooncological, follow-up and preventive care of skin cancer patients. In 2018, 278 new patients with primary melanoma, 572 patients with epithelial skin cancer, 43 cutaneous lymphomas and other types of skin cancer were treated at the UCT Mainz. 

Clinical Research

Several first-in-man trials are being conducted within the translational Melanoma program.  We substantially contribute to the IVAC (Individualized Vaccines Against Cancer) MUTANOME phase I clinical trial in melanoma, several RNA-based vaccination trials carried out together with BioNtech AG (MERIT-trials; NCT02410733, NCT01684241) and recently a first-in-human study to evaluate intratumoral administration of SAR44100, a cytokine coding RNA (NCT01684241). Within the clinical research program, 86 patients were treated in interventional clinical trials in 2018, and recent publications document active contribution to international clinical trials (Sahin U., Loquai C., Türeci Ö. Nature 2017; COLUMBUS trial: Loquai C. Lancet Oncology. 2018). Moreover, S. Grabbe and C. Loquai are both members of the steering committee of the German cooperative cutaneous oncology group, the leading German skin cancer research organization.

Translational Melanoma Projects

Basic and translational research, with a focus on immunotherapy, is the prime scientific interest of the center. In 2016, the DFG-funded CRC1066 focusing on the utilization of multi-functionalized nanoparticles and polymers for melanoma immunotherapy was re-evaluated and approved for four additional years. In addition, DKTK- and FZI-funded projects are actively investigating aspects of immunomodulation in melanoma.

Most significant publications since 2015

  • Sahin U., Oehm P., Derhovanessian E., Jabulowsky R.A., Vormehr M., Gold M., Maurus D., Schwarck-Kokarakis D., Kuhn A.N., Omokoko T., Kranz L.M., Diken M., Kreiter S., Haas H., Attig S., Rae R., Cuk K., Kemmer-Brück A., Breitkreuz A., Tolliver C., Caspar J., Quinkhardt J., Hebich L., Stein M., Hohberger A., Vogler I., Liebig I., Renken S., Sikorski J., Leierer M., Müller V., Mitzel-Rink H., Miederer M., Huber C., Grabbe S., Utikal J., Pinter A., Kaufmann R., Hassel J.C., Loquai C., Türeci Ö. 2020. An RNA vaccine drives immunity in checkpoint-inhibitor-treated melanoma. Nature. 585(7823), 107-112.
  • Liu, D., Schilling, B., Liu, D., Sucker, A., Livingstone, E., Jerby-Amon, L., Zimmer, L., Gutzmer, R., Satzger, I., Loquai, C., Grabbe, S., Vokes, N., Margolis, C.A., Conway, J., He, M.X., Elmarakeby, H., Dietlein, F., Miao, D., Tracy, A., Gogas, H., Goldinger, S.M., Utikal, J., Blank, C.U., Rauschenberg, R., von Bubnoff, D., Krackhardt, A., Weide, B., Haferkamp, S., Kiecker, F., Izar, B., Garraway, L., Regev, A., Flaherty, K., Paschen, A., Van Allen, E.M., Schadendorf, D. 2019. Integrative molecular and clinical modeling of clinical outcomes to PD1 blockade in patients with metastatic melanoma. Nat Med. 25(12), 1916-1927. 
  • Dummer R., Ascierto P.A., Gogas H.J., Arance A., Mandala M., Liszkay G., Garbe C., Schadendorf D., Krajsova I., Gutzmer R., Chiarion Sileni V., Dutriaux C., Groot J.W.B. de, Yamazaki N., Loquai C., Moutouh-de Parseval L.A., Pickard M.D., Sandor V., Robert C., Flaherty K.T. 2018. Overall survival in patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma receiving encorafenib plus binimetinib versus vemurafenib or encorafenib (COLUMBUS): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology. 19:1315–1327.
  • Dummer R., Ascierto P.A., Gogas H.J., Arance A., Mandala M., Liszkay G., Garbe C., Schadendorf D., Krajsova I., Gutzmer R., Chiarion-Sileni V., Dutriaux C., Groot J.W.B. de, Yamazaki N., Loquai C., Moutouh-de Parseval L.A., Pickard M.D., Sandor V., Robert C., Flaherty K.T. 2018. Encorafenib plus binimetinib versus vemurafenib or encorafenib in patients with BRAF -mutant melanoma (COLUMBUS): a multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology. 19:603–615. 
  • Sahin U., Derhovanessian E., Miller M., Kloke B.P., Simon P., Löwer M., Bukur V., Tadmor A.D., Luxemburger U., Schrörs B., Omokoko T., Vormehr M., Albrecht C., Paruzynski A., Kuhn A.N., Buck J., Heesch S., Schreeb K.H., Müller F., Ortseifer I., Vogler I., Godehardt E., Attig S., Rae R., Breitkreuz A., Tolliver C., Suchan M., Martic G., Hohberger A., Sorn P., Diekmann J., Ciesla J., Waksmann O., Brück A.K., Witt M., Zillgen M., Rothermel A., Kasemann B., Langer D., Bolte S., Diken M., Kreiter S., Nemecek R., Gebhardt C., Grabbe S., Höller C., Utikal J., Huber C., Loquai C., Türeci Ö. 2017. Personalized RNA mutanome vaccines mobilize poly-specific therapeutic immunity against cancer. Nature. 547(7662):222-226.
  • Van Allen E.M., Miao D., Schilling B., Shukla S.A., Blank C., Zimmer L., Sucker A., Hillen U., Foppen M.H., Goldinger S.M., Utikal J., Hassel J.C., Weide B., Kaehler K.C., Loquai C., Mohr P., Gutzmer R., Dummer R., Gabriel S., Wu C.J., Schadendorf D., Garraway L.A. 2015. Genomic correlates of response to CTLA-4 blockade in metastatic melanoma. Science. 350(6257):207-11.