Recent unprecedented progress in melanoma therapies can for the first time provide hope for patients in advanced stages of the disease. However, navigating a fast-evolving treatment landscape presents a real challenge, not only for patients but also for their advocates.
With novel treatments in different stages of development, the most promising agents are often only accessible in a clinical trial setting. For this reason, access to and participation in clinical studies strongly shape the reality for stage 4 and increasingly, also stage 3 melanoma patients. The current logistical, ethical and humane challenges to melanoma patients’ enrolment in clinical trials now appeal for a change of paradigm in the design and conduct of these trials.
This conference, organised jointly by m-icab and ESO, will therefore focus on patient participation in melanoma clinical research, with an update on the latest treatment developments (Session 1), how patients gain access to these (Session 2), the aspects of clinical trials that are problematic for melanoma patients (Session 3, 4) and a panel discussion involving all stakeholders on ‘the melanoma clinical trial of the future’ and on concrete steps on how patients can get involved in this process (Session 5).
In the past, m-icab has combined advisory board activites with functions of a European platform for melanoma patients. In order to stay true to our mission, to systematically address the problems faced by melanoma patients across Europe in a constructive, collaborative and result-orientated way, we need to make the step forward through a more structured organisational approach. The second day of the conference will therefore focus on the establishment of a European platform for melanoma patient advocacy (Session 6 and 7).
In addition, we will offer workshops to support capacity building in the melanoma patient advocacy community.