• The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
• Oglesby Cancer Research Building
• Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
• The University of Manchester

Our research into melanoma stretches from basic discovery science right through to patient support and end of life care.

Using a variety of mouse and zebrafish models, our laboratory scientists look at the role of UV radiation in melanomagenesis and associated preventative strategies. At the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute we are investigating better ways to treat the disease through exploration of mechanisms of drug action and resistance. Drug discovery teams are developing novel pan-RAF inhibitors to overcome some of the challenges of existing targeted therapies.

The MCRC Biobank plays a key role in our melanoma research, collecting fresh and frozen samples across multiple timepoints. This enables us to create PDX and CDX models to accurately recapitulate real-world biology in the lab.

Within immunology, we probe mechanisms and therapeutic strategies, including radiotherapy-immunotherapy combinations.

We are also interested in rare melanoma types - acral, mucosal and uveal melanomas – and are probing the genetics to gain an understanding of the roots of these less common subtypes.

Our clinical researchers aim to improve the standard of care and are trialling a range of approaches, including radiotherapy, cell therapies and new surgical techniques. We lead national initiatives and join international collaborations to drive forward the introduction of the latest treatments.


  • What is the role of UV radiation in melanoma?
  • How can we explain poor outcome for elderly melanoma patients?
  • How do we overcome treatment resistance in melanoma?
  • How do cells in the tumour microenvironment interfere with immune responses and thereby limit the effectiveness of immunotherapy?
  • What are the factors underlying malignant conversion of melanocytes?


Rechallenge with BRAF-directed treatment in metastatic melanoma: A multi-institutional retrospective study.
Valpione S, Carlino MS, Mangana J, Mooradian MJ, McArthur G, Schadendorf D, Hauschild A, Menzies AM, Arance A, Ascierto PA, Di Giacomo A, de Rosa F, Larkin J, Park JJ, Goldinger SM, Sullivan RJ, Xu W, Livingstone E, Weichenthal M, Rai R, Gaba L, Long GV, Lorigan P.
Eur J Cancer. 2018 Mar;91:116-124. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2017.12.007. 

Circulating tumor DNA predicts survival in patients with resected high-risk stage II/III melanoma.
Lee RJ, Gremel G, Marshall A, Myers KA, Fisher N, Dunn JA, Dhomen N, Corrie PG, Middleton MR, Lorigan P, Marais R.
Ann Oncol. 2018 Feb 1;29(2):490-496. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdx717.

Paradox-Breaking RAF Inhibitors that Also Target SRC Are Effective in Drug-Resistant BRAF Mutant Melanoma.
Girotti MR, Lopes F, Preece N, Niculescu-Duvaz D, Zambon A, Davies L, Whittaker S, Saturno G, Viros A, Pedersen M, Suijkerbuijk BMJM, Menard D, McLeary R, Johnson L, Fish L, Ejiama S, Sanchez-Laorden B, Hohloch J, Carragher N, Macleod K, Ashton G, Marusiak AA, Fusi A, Brognard J, Frame M, Lorigan P, Marais R, Springer C.
Cancer Cell. 2017 Mar 13;31(3):466. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2017.02.007. 

An adaptive signaling network in melanoma inflammatory niches confers tolerance to MAPK signaling inhibition.
Young HL, Rowling EJ, Bugatti M, Giurisato E, Luheshi N, Arozarena I, Acosta JC, Kamarashev J, Frederick DT, Cooper ZA, Reuben A, Gil J, Flaherty KT, Wargo JA, Vermi W, Smith MP, Wellbrock C, Hurlstone A.
J Exp Med. 2017 Jun 5;214(6):1691-1710. doi: 10.1084/jem.20160855. 

Cyclooxygenase-Dependent Tumor Growth through Evasion of Immunity.
Zelenay S, van der Veen AG, Böttcher JP, Snelgrove KJ, Rogers N, Acton SE, Chakravarty P, Girotti MR, Marais R, Quezada SA, Sahai E, Reis e Sousa C.
Cell. 2015 Sep 10;162(6):1257-70. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.015. 


Drug Discovery

Clinical Oncology




Medical Oncology


  • Jackie Hodgetts
  • Katie McHale


Clinical Fellow

  • Sara Valpione