Do differences in the primary tumour microenvironment and immune response in peripheral blood predict melanoma relapse?

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Melanoma Microscopy

The key research questions in this project are:

  • To interrogate differences in the tumour microenvironment at surgery affect likelihood of melanoma relapse using ultra-high multiplex imaging of the tumour immune and stromal environment performed together with T-cell receptor sequencing
  • Identified tumour associated T-cell clones will be tracked in longitudinally collected peripheral blood samples to determine how these change in response to disease progression and whether they provide an early indication of relapse.

The details

Management of resected early-stage melanoma remains a challenge. For these patients, individual recurrence risk is low with more than 75 per cent of patients alive at 10 years.

However, these patients account for approximately 50 per cent of people who subsequently develop metastases and die. It is critical to better understand why some melanomas go on to metastasise, whilst others are cured by surgery alone.

In addition, biomarkers are needed that can provide an early prediction of which patients will be cured versus those who need additional monitoring or treatment.

This project brings together research teams in Manchester UK and Melbourne Australia to perform an in-depth analysis of the tumour-associated adaptive immune system and its association with disease relapse to identify biomarkers for early detection and prediction of recurrence.

Supervision team

Other joint PhD projects