Melanoma CoE News


  • A research article titled "Clinical Outcomes and Risk Stratification of Early-Stage Melanoma Micrometastases From an International Multicenter Study: Implications for the Management of American Joint Committee on Cancer IIIA Disease" was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Congratulations to Moffitt authors, Dr. Vernon Sondak and Dr. Jonathan Zager.
  • A research article titled "Therapeutic Value of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Patients With Melanoma: A Randomized Clinical Trial" was published in JAMA Surgery. SLN biopsy is a standard staging procedure for cutaneous melanoma. Congratulations to Moffitt authors, Dr. Jonathan Zager and Dr. Rogerio Neves.
  • Shahla Bari, MDWelcome new faculty and Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence member, Shahla Bari, MD. Dr. Bari’s clinical interest and focus are in immuno-oncology, including ancestry-based disparities in immunotherapy treatment outcomes. Her research interest is in the role of microbial metabolomics in understanding the mechanism of immunotherapy resistance, and in the development of metabolomics-based immuno-imaging. She was a recipient of the prestigious ASCO Young Investigator Award in 2021, under the mentorship of Dr. Conejo-Garcia and Dr. Brandon Manley.
  • Newsletter: Read more news in the first issue of the Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence Newsletter. (PDF)


  • James Mulé, PhD
    James Mulé, PhD In an article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers demonstrate how an important defect in STING gene expression in melanoma cells contributes to their evasion from immune cell detection and destruction.
    "These studies show the critical importance of an intact STING pathway in melanomas for optimal T cell immunotherapy success, and how to overcome a notable STING defect in melanoma cases of gene hypermethylation by a combination therapy,” said James J. Mulé, Ph.D., senior author and associate center director for Translational Science at Moffitt. 
    Full story
  • Researchers are investigating how to combine and sequence new therapies to improve survival. In a new article published in Cancer Immunology Research, the Moffitt team shows that sequential administration of immunotherapy followed by targeted therapy prolongs anti-tumor responses in preclinical models and may be a potential treatment option for patients. Full story


  • A research team, led by Keiran Smalley, Ph.D., director of the Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence and Peter Forsyth, M.D., Chair of the Department of Neuro-Oncology, hypothesized that the cerebrospinal fluid of LMM patients could impact melanoma cells by modulating their molecular profile. They confirmed this hypothesis by incubating cerebrospinal fluid from the LMM patients with melanoma cells and discovered that the fluid was able to induce activation of proteins and signaling pathways involved in malignant progression, including the PI3K/AKT pathway, integrins, B cell signaling, mitotic cell cycle progression, TNFR, TGF-β and oxidative stress. Full story


  • In a new study published in EBioMedicine, researchers with Moffitt Cancer Center’s Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence reveal that differences at the single-cell level can predict responses to initial BRAF inhibitor therapy, and that leveraging these differences may improve patient outcomes. Full Story
  • Using a combination of novel genetic tools, the Tsai and Brown labs are studying how clones of keratinocytes exposed to UV radiation expand and contract over time, forming the basis for skin cancer. Full Story
  • Researchers have discovered a mechanism by which melanoma cells become resistant to the commonly used drugs that target the BRAF protein and its signaling pathway. Full Story
  • Researchers in the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence have discovered a signaling pathway between cytokines and BRAF that promotes tumor growth. Full Story
  • Researchers in the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence are working to change the prognosis for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. They have identified a new drug combination that is effective against metastatic uveal melanoma cells in preclinical studies. Their findings were published in Clinical Cancer Research. Full story