Sergio Roman-Roman, Institut Curie, Coordinator of UM CURE 2020, presents the Research Consortium
Uveal Melanoma (UM) is a rare intraocular disease and while the primary tumour can often be treated effectively, there is currently no effective treatment for its metastases. The overall goal of the UM Cure 2020 consortium is to combine the efforts of several European Centres of Excellence in clinical ocular oncology and basic research with patient organisations to develop new therapeutic approaches to treat metastatic UM, and share this new knowledge efficiently.
Our specific goals, directly linked to the structure of the work plan above, are articulated in work packages to:
Obtain a better characterisation of UM metastases by collecting patient samples and establishing an European UM virtual biobank registry, through harmonisation of existing biobanks (work package 1 - WP1);
Evaluate single drugs and drug combinations in preclinical models to identify novel therapeutic options for treatment of metastatic UM (WP2);
Further develop relevant in vitro and in vivo UM models to better understand the mechanisms of UM oncogenesis and progression and to evaluate the most promising therapies for success in the clinic (WP3);
Decipher the genetic alterations and dysregulated signalling pathways in metastatic UM, and the characteristics of the UM immune landscape, in order to identify novel targets and biomarkers specific to UM metastases (WP4);
Ensure widespread dissemination and maximal exploitation of our results, in particular through the initiation of UM-dedicated clinical trials sponsored by academia or pharma. Additionally, we aim at increasing patient information and involvement through a dedicated UM patient and UM caregivers portal associated with the project website, as well as European-wide initiatives for UM patients to meet, network and get involved (WP5).