Melanoma TrialFinder


Read the latest updates and news on clinical trials for melanoma in the UK below.


A new study has opened at the University of East Anglia, run by Dr Khaylen Mistry, to identify and prioritise unanswered research questions by interviewing patients diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma in the past ten years. The interviews will be in person or online and researchers will recruit a mix of participants of different gender, age, ethnicity, deprivation, disability, geographical region and tumour stage so all groups are represented.

Rapid improvements in melanoma care over the last 10 years, due to targeted and immunotherapy treatments, have influenced the type of research that is being carried out for melanoma. It is important to ensure research benefits patients and so this new project plans to interview patients across the UK to find out their views.

The team are currently looking for patients to take part!

For more information, and details on how to get involved, visit our Melanoma TrialFinder. 

New Personalised Cancer Treatment Trial- May 2023

MSD and Moderna have announced that they will be opening a phase 3 trial looking at treating stage 3 and 4 melanomas with a personalised cancer treatment in combination with standard immunotherapy.

Their phase 2b trial (KEYNOTE-942) showed that an individualised mRNA vaccine (V940) given together with standard immunotherapy treatment pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA) reduced the risk of recurrence or death by 44% compared to pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA) alone in stage 3 and 4 melanoma patients with high risk of recurrence following complete resection surgery.

They are now developing a phase 3 trial which will allow the combination treatment to be tested in a larger number of melanoma patients and it is planned to open in the UK.


What are personalised cancer treatments?

A personalised cancer treatment takes into account the different characteristics of each person’s melanoma and uses this to make a very specific treatment to target, attack and kill their own melanoma cells.

What is an Individualised Neoantigen Treatment (INT)?

An INT is a type of personalised cancer treatment.

Scientists take cells from a person’s melanoma and look at them in a laboratory to identify the neoantigens, which are proteins on the tumour cells that the body’s immune system can recognise. The scientists can then create a treatment that when given back to the same patient can stimulate their body’s immune system to recognise these neoantigens on the melanoma cells’ surface so that it can attack and kill them.

There are different types of new technologies used to make INT’s and this trial will be using an mRNA -based INT. With mRNA being the messenger system which can instruct the body to make certain proteins.

This phase 3 clinical trial by MSD and Moderna will be the first of its kind looking at an mRNA-based INT to treat melanoma patients in the UK.

For more information on this news please see the announcement here

For more information on current clinical trials available to melanoma patients see our Melanoma TrialFinder.

And remember to keep checking back for news on this new trial which is hopefully planned to open in late 2023!


The MyMelanoma study launched in February 2023 and aims to recruit 20,000 melanoma patients to answer the most important questions about melanoma and its treatment.

The study is being led by the University of Oxford, funded by Melanoma Focus and Cancer Research UK and being delivered with support from the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

Any person who has received NHS treatment for melanoma of the skin or mucosal melanoma can volunteer for the study. It involves completing two online questionnaires about their lifestyle, health and personal and family cancer history. All information given will be stored anonymously so that nobody can be identified.

The information will be linked with the persons’ NHS records to build a global database that doctors and researchers can use to be able to look at the most important topics regarding melanoma and help them to understand how to deliver improvements as quickly as possible.

For more information on the study, and how to join, see the summary on our Melanoma TrialFinder

Or visit the MyMelanoma website


The OPTIC study has just opened to recruitment, and researchers want to interview patients in groups to find out their opinion about how immunotherapy treatment is given.

Immunotherapy is currently standard treatment for a lot of melanoma patients, and it is usually given by an intravenous infusion, i.e., via a thin tube inserted into the arm, every 2-6 weeks (depending on the specific treatment). Most patients will need to have treatment for at least a year, and some patients will be recommended ongoing treatment even if the treatment works well.

Although giving immunotherapy this way has been proven effective, researchers are now wanting to look at whether they can change the way immunotherapy is given to patients to try to reduce the impact it may have on their quality of life. For example, they want to see if it works as well if it is given at lower dose, less often, or for a shorter amount of time overall. This could mean less visits to the hospital or a lower chance of patients experiencing side effects.

focus group discussing trials

If you would like to take part, you can view the summary on the Melanoma TrialFinder to check whether you would be eligible to take part or see the OPTIC study official website for more details.

Melanoma TrialFinder

OPTIC study website

The OPTIC study researchers are currently interviewing patients with advanced melanoma but will want to speak to patients with earlier stage melanoma later in 2023 also, so do keep up to date with the Melanoma TrialFinder to check for new information.


In May 2022, we are launching the Melanoma TrialFinder. This will support the melanoma community of patients and medical and nursing skin cancer professionals to provide knowledge and understanding of UK melanoma clinical trials.
The last decade has revolutionised melanoma treatments, particularly in stage 3 and 4 melanoma and this is thanks to the ongoing research in this area. Research provides hope.

>See the Melanoma TrialFinder here

Searching for a trial


Our ongoing commitment to research and clinical trials 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 of patient care.
The policy paper, called Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery, defines the vision for the future of clinical research in one of its opening statements:

Our hope for the future:

“The pandemic has showcased the clear link between research and better outcomes – for individuals and the NHS….
…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….

scientist involved in clinical trials

…Research is also vital in determining what doesn’t work, so we can improve best practice and focus resources on providing healthcare that delivers the greatest benefit to patients. 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.

As we look to tackle today’s major healthcare challenges….we must double-down on our commitment to clinical research.
This is how we will identify the best treatments, the best technologies and the best techniques to improve the lives of our children and our grandchildren…”

>Read the full document here;


Melanoma Focus helped to distribute information to patients asking them if they wanted to take part in a study to help understand patient views on a new blood test available to patients with early-stage melanoma.
Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) monitoring is a new technology that detects cancer DNA fragments in blood circulation. Regular monitoring with ctDNA has the potential to detect and treat cancer relapse earlier, but there is little evidence on patient acceptability. This study examines the views of patients with early-stage melanoma on the acceptability of the test and early treatment.

>Read the results and the full article here

medical waiting room