Clinical Research

Melanoma Focus is proud to be a charity that is committed to commission, fund, support and promote research into the wide field of melanoma for patient benefit.

We regularly invite applications from UK melanoma researchers. Thanks to kind donations, we have funded investigators who work as melanoma clinicians, dermatologists, advanced non-medical practitioners, surgeons, scientists, pathologists and health economists. Our Scientific Committee, led by Professor Samra Turajlic, evaluates the proposals and makes recommendations for the research awards.

Previous studies have addressed complex scientific questions – such as a study looking at how changes in proteins in the skin can predict the risk of melanoma metastasising – and others are aimed at improving public knowledge of melanoma, its risks and prevention, as well as observational studies looking at different aspects of care to better understanding patient well-being and holistic care for melanoma patients.

Melanoma researcher

Melanoma Focus is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial Partner. This means the studies we fund may be eligible to access the NIHR Study Support Service which is provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. The NIHR Clinical Research Network can now support health and social care research taking place in non-NHS settings, such as studies running in care homes or hospices, or public health research taking place in schools and other community settings. Read the full policy: Eligibility Criteria for NIHR Clinical Research Network Support.

Our next call for research is planned for December 2024.

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Current Research Projects 

See the research projects that Melanoma Focus is currently funding through donations  

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Past Funded Projects 

See the previous melanoma research studies that have been completed 

In June 2023, the UK National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) announced its sudden closure after 22 years supporting and co-ordinating academic clinical cancer research across the UK – impacting all research groups, including the NCRI Skin Group. It is not immediately clear that another national organisation will pick up the mantle to design, develop and co-ordinate clinical cancer research in the UK. Read the NCRI closure announcement here.

The NCRI Skin Group had only recently published their Strategic Priorities, resulting from a delphi process and wide stakeholder engagement over a number of priority setting sessions. Read the NCRI Skin Group Strategic Priorities here.

Prof Rowan Pritchard-Jones (Chair, NCRI Skin Group) and Dr Brent O’Carrigan (Deputy Chair, NCRI Skin Group) have been approached by many members of the skin cancer research community who are enthusiastic to continue supporting academic clinical skin cancer research.

As an interim measure, they would like to convene stakeholders in UK academic skin cancer research (clinicians, researchers, scientists, patient advocates, funders and others) to come together and maintain cohesion in the community.

A proposed structure of this UK Skin Cancer Clinical Trial Group would comprise of an Executive group and 3 working groups; Melanoma – early stage (including neoadjuvant therapy), Melanoma – metastatic, and, Non-melanoma skin cancers.

The Melanoma Focus Trustees have agreed that we will provide administrative support to allow the work to continue – including on both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Melanoma Focus is committed to increasing the knowledge and understanding of current UK melanoma research. Our searchable UK Melanoma TrialFinder supports both professionals and patients; our aim being that meaningful discussions may occur between the medical team and patients about potential clinical trial opportunities.

The lay version of the Melanoma TrialFinder

The Melanoma TrialFinder for professionals

Our ongoing commitment to research at Melanoma Focus is further validated by a recent policy paper released by the UK Government Department of Health and Social care. The paper calls for the need to focus on Clinical Research in all areas.
The policy paper, called Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery was released in March 2021 and defines the vision for the future of clinical research in one of its opening statements:

“Clinical research is the single most important way in which we improve our healthcare – by identifying the best means to prevent, diagnose and treat conditions. So, we need to bolster delivery of innovative research across all phases, all conditions and right across the UK……

….And research extends beyond clinical trials for new medicines to cover a range of activities – from a study into a new approach to radiation therapy, to work to explore how a particular disease could be prevented, or even an investigation to help mitigate the side effects of a new treatment.

Clinical research is all around us and helps to improve the quality of healthcare patients receive. Crucially, these benefits are felt by everyone, not just those participating in research. For example, data shows NHS trusts that are highly research active have better outcomes for patients across their services.”

Read the full policy paper here.