The EORTC Melanoma Group Exchange Programme : a Multicentric Monoclonal Antibody Study

In the frame of the EORTC Malignant Melanoma Group, we undertook a large multicentric study on the specificity of a number of anti-melanoma monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) and on the reproducibility of immunohistological testing methods. As a final goal, the immunology subgroup has delineated a series of research objectives to he achieved during the next two years. First the group will come up with a panel of 25 or more Mabs to be used in immunohistopathology as an aid for a better discrimination between benign conditions like naevus and malignancy like melanoma, with a special emphasis on Mabs showing a preferential reactivity for "borderline" lesions. Second, a series of Mabs will be selected which are directed against membrane structures of which the expression or the absence of expression in primary malignant cells might be of prognostic value. Finally, the group will propose the most suitable Mabs to be used for imaging. In order to obtain a more accurate definition of the exact reactivity spectrum of each Mab under study, we developed, with the help of the EORTC Data Center, a standard form for the evaluation of the results. These forms are conceived in a way which should allow them to be analyzed in a computer programme. The present status of the Mabs Data Bank is more than 2.000 forms on 25 Mabs.
Eleven institutions in Europe are currently collaborating. The preliminary results will be presented in Sorrento.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
Ch. des Boveresses
CH - 1066 Epalinges/Lausanne