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  • 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.
  • Lilit KarapetyanWelcome new faculty and Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence member, Lilit Karapetyan, MD. Dr. Karapetyan's clinical interest is in melanoma and other skin cancers, including understanding the risk for multiple primary melanomas. Her clinical research is focused on designing immunotherapy trials for patients with early-stage and advanced melanoma. Her translational research is focused on identifying biomarkers for immunotherapy response with a specific interest in the role of tertiary lymphoid structures in affecting this response. Dr. Karapetyan was the recipient of an ASCO Young Investigator Award in 2022.
  • Members visited Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend and present at the 19th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR). The SMR is a group of scientists working to find the mechanisms responsible for melanoma development and, consequently, new therapies for this cancer. The SMR contributes to advances in melanoma research by bringing together researchers in a collaborative way to unite the scientific community.
  • A research article titled "Ablation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress kinase PERK induces paraptosis and type I interferon to promote anti-tumor T cell responses" featuring Moffitt authors was published in Cancer Cell. Congratulations to all the authors: Jessica Mandula, Shiun Chang, Rachel Jimenez, Rosa Sierra-Mondragon, Darwin Chang, Alyssa Obermayer, Carlos Moran-Segura, Satyajit Das, Julio Vazquez-Martinez, Karol Prieto, Ann Chen, Keiran Smalley, Brian Czerniecki, Peter Forsyth, Brian Ruffell, Timothy Shaw, Jose Conejo-Garcia, and Paulo Rodriguez.
  • Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence Newsletters:
    Issue 1 - 9/22 (PDF)
    Issue 2 - 1/23 (PDF)


  • 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