Clinical Cooperation Unit Dermato-Oncology

Prof. Dr. Jochen Utikal

Primary malignant melanoma

The Clinical Cooperation Unit Dermato-Oncology is engaged in the diagnosis and therapy of skin tumors. Research results obtained are transferred directly into clinical practice. The main focus is on malignant melanoma, a tumor that originates from the pigment cells of the skin. The Clinical Cooperation Unit Dermato-Oncology conducts several translational research projects, including different Phase I-IV clinical trials, with innovative melanoma therapies. Translational research focuses on stem cell features of melanoma cells, target identification to overcome resistance mechanisms, immunosuppression in melanoma, and prognostic and predictive melanoma biomarker.

In the future, we will strive to further improve patient care with new clinical trials on the horizon including investigator initiated trials (IITs). In order to feed the bench-to bedside translational pipeline, the CCU will focus its basic and translational research on stem cell-guided personalized dermatooncology based on our expertise regarding human induced pluripotent stem cells. This approach will comprise two important branches: 1. stem cell-based personalized immunotherapy (SCPI), and 2. stem cell based targeted therapy (SCTT). These innovative approaches will be realized at the CCU Dermatooncology to prepare the next quantum leap in the treatment of patients with advanced malignant melanoma.


Prof. Dr. Jochen Utikal
Dermato-Oncology (A370)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 621 383 4461

Selected Publications

  • Sahin U. et al. (2017). Personalized RNA mutanome vaccines mobilize poly-specific therapeutic immunity against cancer. Nature, 547(7662):222-226.
  • Bernhardt M. et al. (2017). Melanoma-Derived iPCCs Show Differential Tumorigenicity and Therapy Response. Stem Cell Reports, 8(5):1379-1391.
  • Long G.V. et al. (2017). Dabrafenib plus trametinib versus dabrafenib monotherapy in patients with metastatic BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma: long-term survival and safety analysis of a phase 3 study. Ann Oncol, 28(7):1631-1639.
  • Sucker A. et al., (2017). Acquired IFN? resistance impairs anti-tumor immunity and gives rise to T-cell-resistant melanoma lesions. Nat Commun, 8:15440.
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