Keynote Lectures

Keynote lectures 1 | Wednesday, April 24th

The long journey from melanocyte to melanoma | Boris BASTIAN (United States)

There are multiple biologically and genetically distinct subtypes of melanoma, the majority of which arise from precursor lesions such as various types of nevi or melanoma in situ. In fully established, invasive melanomas multiple signaling pathways are disrupted by independent genetic alterations. By contrast, their respective  precursor lesions harbor only a subset of these genetic alterations, indicating that somatic mutations accumulate overtime and drive the progression of melanomas from precursor lesions through different  evolutionary trajectories.

Dr. Boris Bastian received his MD degree and Dr. med degree from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. After completing a residency in dermatology at the University of Wurzburg, he received additional training in dermatopathology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco before joining the institution's faculty and starting his research laboratory at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2010 he moved to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to become Chairman of the Department of Pathology. In 2011 he returned to UCSF where he holds the title of Gerson and Barbara Bakar Distinguished Professor of Cancer Biology. He founded and directs the Clinical Cancer Genomics Laboratory at UCSF, which performs molecular diagnostics for patients of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has clinical responsibilities in the Dermatopathology Section of the Departments of Dermatology and Pathology, where he also oversees the molecular diagnostic laboratory.

Dr. Bastian’s research laboratory focuses on the molecular genetics of cutaneous neoplasms, with a particular emphasis on the discovery of genetic alterations useful for diagnosis, classification, and therapy. His laboratory has contributed to the discovery of multiple genetic alterations in melanocytic neoplasia that are relevant for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes and he has established a taxonomy of melanocytic neoplasia that integrates molecular and clinical disease aspects. He served as the President of the Society of Melanoma Research from 2010 to 2013.He has received numerous awards for his work including the election to the German National Academy of Sciences, the Lila Gruber Award for Cancer Research of the American Academy of Dermatology, and an Outstanding Investigator Award of the National Cancer Institute.



Targeting innate immunity in cancer treatment | Eric VIVIER (France)


In cancer, most immunomodulatory therapeutic approaches to date have focused on enhancing T-cell responses. Despite unprecedented clinical results, most cancer patients still do not benefit from these treatments, prompting to identify new cells and molecules that could be targeted in next generation immunotherapy.




Raising the efficacy in immunotherapy of melanoma: what are we going to achieve? | Beth HELMINK (United States)

Dr. Beth Helmink matriculated into the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 2004, with a PhD focus in Immunology. Her thesis work was completed in the lab of Dr. Barry Sleckman studying DNA repair mechanisms in developing lymphocytes undergoing V(D)J recombination. After graduation from medical school in 2012, she completed General Surgery Residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  She began her Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in August 2017 and has been working in the lab of Dr. Jennifer Wargo focusing on the influences of the gut microbiota on host immunity as well as cancer development, progression and treatment, specifically the response to immunotherapy.




Keynote lectures 2
Thursday, April 25th 



Where and when will melanoma incidence decrease?David WHITEMAN (Australia)


Melanoma incidence continues to climb rapidly in most countries in Europe and North America, whereas rates in Australia and New Zealand appear to be falling. What is driving this decline, and might we see similar changes around the world?

Professor David Whiteman is a medical epidemiologist with a special interest in the causes, control and prevention of cancer. He received his medical degree from the University of Queensland in 1991, and his PhD in cancer epidemiology in 1997. Professor Whiteman. In addition to his research activities, he is Deputy Director of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, and Honorary Fellow of the Skin Cancer College of Australasia. In 2019, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to cancer epidemiology.


How to modulate tumor microenvironment? | Thomas GAJEWSKI (United States)

Dr. Gajewski has defined the T cell-inflamed/non-T cell-inflamed tumor microenvironment phenotypes and how they relate to immunotherapy efficacy.  Factors that regulate the degree of endogenous immune infiltration include tumor cell-intrinsic oncogenic pathways, germline polymorphisms, and the composition of the commensal microbiota.  Each of these facets are raising new possibilities for therapeutic intervention.





Molecular resistance to targeted therapy, from bench to bedsideGrant MCARTHUR (Australia)


Keynote lectures 3
Friday, April 26th


Biology and therapy of Merkel cell carcinoma | Paul NGHIEM (United States)

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) incidence is increasing rapidly and MCC is several times more likely to be lethal than malignant melanoma. Dr. Nghiem will highlight translational studies and recent clinical trials that are leading to rapid shifts in the proper multi-disciplinary management of MCC, making it both less toxic and more effective.

Dr. Paul Nghiem (pronounced NEE-em) is the George F. Odland Endowed Chair and Head of the Division of Dermatology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He sees patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and is an affiliate investigator at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. 

He grew up in Olympia, Washington, attended Harvard College and then pursued MD and PhD degrees at Stanford University where he studied Cancer Biology and Immunology.

He did his medicine internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital followed by Dermatology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He studied UV-DNA damage responses as a Howard Hughes Post-Doctoral Fellow with Stuart Schreiber in the Harvard Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

In 2003, he started his own lab at the Cutaneous Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2006, together with their two young boys, he and his wife moved 'home' to Seattle. He has published over 150 papers that in aggregate have been cited over 8500 times. He has several grants from the NIH, including a K24 grant for mentoring young physicians and scientists. Today, he leads a multi-disciplinary team focused on improving management of MCC. Given his long-term interests in cancer biology and immunology, Dr. Nghiem feels incredibly fortunate to study a disease in which cancer immunology can improve the care of patients.


Targeting pathways in basal cell carcinoma: sonic hedgehog and beyond | Nicole BASSET-SEGUIN (France)

Evidence of the importance of the SHH pathway in the physiopathology of basal cell carcinoma and the results of major studies performed with the two Hh inhibitor vismodegib and Sonidegib. I will aslo cover what happens after drug interruption in case of complete response and the frequency of resistance to vismodegib and its mechanisms. Finally I will talk about potential other pathway involved in BCC physiopathology that might influence future treatment stategies

Pr Basset-Seguin is an MD PHD who was trained in Faculte de médecine Lariboisère Saint –Louis in Paris and in the Faculte de Médecine de Montpellier, in the south of France. After her residency in Paris, she was quickly interested in research and started her PHD in the States, in the department of K Yancey at the USUHS in close coordination with the dermatology branch directed by S Katz at the NIH. She was recruited as an a medical assistant in Montpellier followed by a position of Assistant Associate in the department of dermatology of Pr Guilhou in Montpellier and was promoted as a Professor in dermatology in Hôpital Saint-Louis (Pr L Dubertert and now Pr M Bagot) since 1998. She continued her  research activities and directed an INSERM Unit U 532 in Paris for 5 years. Her medical interest is devoted to skin cancer biology and clinics and most particularly skin carcinomas. She is actually co directing the dermato oncology department in Paris and continues to be involved in research activities in INSERM U976. In 2014, she spend 7 months as a visiting scientist at Genentech, South San Francisco working on resistance mechanism to Vismodegib for the treatment of locally advanced basal cell carcinoma. A collaboration is still on going on that theme since her return.


Keynote lectures 4
Saturday, April 27th


What's new in non melanoma skin cancer? | Brigitte DRENO (France)

Prof. Dr. Brigitte Dréno is Professor of Dermatology exceptional grade, Chairman of the department of Dermato-Oncology, Chairman of the Federation of Oncology and Director of the GMP Unit of Cell and Gene Therapy in University Hospital Nantes France. She is also Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine OF Nantes France, President of National University Council of Dermatology. She has published over 550 articles (H index 49) referenced in PubMed, participated to the redaction of chapters of several books, and supervisor of doctoral these within: melanoma, skin neoplasms, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, antineoplastic agents, CTCL, cutaneous adverse events of anti-cancer drugs, acne: She is an Editorial Board Member of JEADV, Acta Dermatology and European Journal of Cancer Prevention and Expert Reviewer for many Journals in the field of both Dermatology and Cancer.

Prof. Dr. Brigitte Dreno has been granted to the grade of Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour by the President of the French Republic.
She is Chevalier in the Order of Academic Palms of Nantes‘ s University
She has obtained a grant for Supervision Doctoral and Research (RDD) of the University of Nantes, an Award of International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), the Price of the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas, the Price of the French victories of medicine, specialty Oncology.

What's new in melanoma? | Olivier MICHIELIN (Switzerland)

A plethora of new treatment options are being evaluated in early phase clinical trials. How to prioritise agents, combinations or sequences remains a huge challenge. Key strategies will be discussed in this overview.

Prof. Olivier Michielin obtained a Masters of Physics in 1991 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a Medical Degree from the University of Lausanne in 1997. He pursued his PhD training under the supervision of Jean-Charles Cerottini (Ludwig Institute) and Martin Karplus (Harvard and Strasbourg Universities, Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate 2013). He was appointed Group Leader of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics in 2002 and became an Assistant Professor and Privat Docent at the Medical Faculty of Lausanne in 2004 and 2005, respectively. In parallel, he has trained as a medical oncologist and obtained his board certification in 2007 at the Oncology Department of Lausanne where he is currently heading the melanoma clinic. He was appointed Associate Professor in 2010. Prof. Olivier Michielin is mainly focused on translational oncology, developing new molecularly defined therapeutic approaches based on original bioinformatics techniques developed in his laboratory, as well as melanoma clinical trials at the Oncology Department. In 2016, Prof. Olivier Michielin has been appointed as the Head of Personalized Analytical Oncology.


What's new in cutaneous lymphoma? | Marie BEYLOT-BARRY (France)

We will present some recent major advances in basic research, outcome analysis, and above clinical benefit of newly developed therapies targeting the neoplastic cells or micro environment cells. Moreover, large international registry focusing on Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome has also begun to provide important data identifying prognostic factors useful for improving patient care. We will show how these comprehensive advances have already an impact on the practical management of patients on a daily basis by the dermatologist, and what the role of multidisciplinary approach is.

Prof Marie Beylot-Barry is the head of Department of Dermatology in the University Hospital of Bordeaux. She is a member in the INSERM unit of Oncogenesis of Cutaneous Lymphomas team. On this theme, she has produced more than 250 publications (index h = 42), led a PHRC on diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and developed national and international collaborations. She is the General Secretary of the French Group for the Study of Cutaneous Lymphomas. She coordinated an european course on cutaneous lymphomas with the support of the EADV.

She is involved in teaching Dermatology, with a strong focus on surgical dermatology and was President of French College of teachers in dermatology.

Within the French Society of Dermatology, which she is currently president, she has been for several years member of the Board of Directors, member then president of the Scientific Council, and involved in the Fund of research of the French Society of Dermatology.

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