Having taken place at Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland, June 15-17 2017, this was a unique gathering that emphasized the importance of consortia as driving forces for the development of new therapies for rare diseases.
During our First General Assembly and Patients Meeting (which took place at Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland, between June 15-17 2017), we successfully met a series of objectives that push the boundaries of uveal melanoma research. From reviewing UM Cure 2020’s progress during its first eighteen months, to strengthening the direction of our research by identifying future targets and reinforcing its work plan, the First General Assembly consolidated the role of UM Cure 2020 as a groundbreaking venture — one that integrates basic and clinical research with a very clear aim: to develop new therapies for metastatic uveal melanoma. The first meeting was hosted by Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, with participants attending from all twelve UM Cure 2020 partner institutions. Jagiellonian University is one of the four uveal melanoma oncology referral centres participating in the consortium, and shares Krakow’s distinguished academic history with the local legend of the long-ago slain Wawel Dragon, the perfectly embodied metaphor for a scientific initiative, the very aim of which is to slay a deadly foe.
A reflection of the ground principles of UM Cure 2020, the meeting integrated the general assembly with a uveal melanoma patients meeting, striving to place patients at the heart of the UM Cure 2020 consortium.
The scientific agenda of the meeting covered all aspects of uveal melanoma research being carried out by consortium members — from the cellular and molecular profiling of this pathology, to efforts to successfully model and experimentally tackle it, as well as to identify new therapeutic targets — but also brought polish uveal melanoma patients closer to UM Research. This unique gathering, by facilitating the necessary interaction between UM Cure 2020 consortium members, including the Melanoma Patients Network Europe, and local patients who battle this disease, emphasizes the importance of these consortia as driving forces for the development of new therapies for rare diseases.