Melanoma of the skin is the sixth most common type of cancer in Europe and accounts for 3.4% of all diagnosed cancers. More alarming is the increase of highly aggressive forms of skin cancer and metastases spread, and the degree of recurrence that occurs in approximately 20% of patients lethally relapsing following treatment. Targeted oncotherapy is one of the standard treatments for progressive stage 3 and 4 melanoma, and (e.g; vemurafenib, dabrafenib, encorafenib) combined with a MEK inhibitor (e.g: trametinib, cobimetinib, binimetinib) can be used to effectively treat patients with BRAFV600E-mutated melanomas.
By combining our data from, e.g. phosphoproteomics and acetylomics, the protein expression profiles of different melanoma stages can provide a solid framework for understanding the biology and progression of the disease. By complementing by proteogenomics, customised protein sequence databases generated from our patient-specific genomic and transcriptomic data aid in interpreting clinical proteomic biomarker data to provide a deeper and more comprehensive molecular characterisation of cellular functions underlying disease progression.
In parallel to a streamlined, patient-centric, clinical proteomic pipeline, mass spectrometry–based imaging studies are conducted at the European Cancer Moonshot Center, characterizing the spatial distribution of drugs and drug metabolites within tissues at single-cell resolution. These developments are an important advancement in studying drug action and efficacy in vivo and will aid in the development of more effective and safer strategies for the treatment of melanoma. The primary research focus of the European Cancer Moonshot Lund Center is to understand the impact that drugs have on cancer at an individualised and personalised level. Simultaneously, the centre increases awareness of the relentless battle against cancer and attracts global interest in the exceptional research performed at the centre.