The kick-off meeting for the European MELCAYA project took place on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 January 2023 in the auditorium of the Esther Koplowitz Centre. With a budget of around eight million euros, the initiative aims to expand knowledge about melanoma in children, adolescents, and young adults to improve diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment.
Melanoma is currently poorly studied in children and young adults (CAYA) and there are no personalised guidelines. “The MELCAYA project includes experts in different disciplines such as oncology, paediatrics, ethics, policymakers, and more, as well as different sectors, from hospitals to research centres and patient associations, to change this situation and improve the approach taken to melanoma in young people”, Puig explains.
The MELCAYA project aims to:
- Integrate existing European cohorts and registries of reference
- Conduct studies on genetic and environmental factors
- Create a CAYA melanoma taxonomy
- Develop a robust and reliable image-based tool and a European-wide second-opinion platform
- Validate non-invasive tools based on artificial intelligence and identify volatile compounds in patients’ breath and skin to facilitate early detection and a more accurate prognosis of melanoma
- Design and implement public health strategies
Ultimately, the MELCAYA project aims to transfer research to European health programmes, putting the needs and perspectives of people affected by the disease front and centre.