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Melanoma and Surgical Oncology Research

Specialising in surgical oncology, our research focusses on patients diagnosed with melanoma or complex skin cancers. Patients with melanoma and complex skin cancers are recruited for the Melanoma Institute Australia Research Database and the Melanoma Institute Australia Biospecimen Bank for Melanoma Research. 

Our Research Team

Associate Professor Robyn Saw Surgical Oncologist
Professor Omgo Nieweg Surgical Oncologist
Dr Thomas Pennington Surgical Oncologist
Natalie Osborne Clinical Nurse Consultant

Selected Grants

Amount awarded Grant and project details
$2,486,945 NHMRC, 2017-2022
Centre of Excellence in Melanoma.
Investigators: Mann, Cust, Scolyer, Saw, Spillane, Guitera, Long, et.al.
$2,023,376 MRFF 2020 Efficient Use of Existing Medicines , 2021-2025
NADINA Phase 3 trial comparing response driven neo-adjuvant combination of ipilimumab + nivolumab versus adjuvant nivolumab.
Investigators: Long G, McArthur G, Menzies A, Spillane A, Carlino M, Gyorki D, Saw R, Lo S, Morton R.
$1,229,190 NHMRC, 2019-2023
Can patient-led surveillance detect recurrent or new primary melanoma and reduce the need for routinely scheduled follow-up? A Randomised Controlled Trial.
Investigators: Bell K, Janda M, Cust A, Turner R, Irwig L, Guitera P, Saw RPM, Mar V, Dieng M, Hersch J.
$250,000 USYD NHMRC Co-Funding, 2017-2022
Centre of Excellence in Melanoma: Person, tumour and system-focussed knowledge to drive better outcomes in melanoma.
Investigators: Mann, Cust, Scolyer, Braithwaite, Kelly, Morton, Spillane, Saw, Henderson, Yang

Our Publications


Ackermann, D., Dieng, M., Medcalf, E., Jenkins, M., Van Kemenade, C., Janda, M., Turner, R., Cust, A., Morton, R., Irwig, L., Guitera, P., Hersch, J., Saw, R., Scolyer, R., Drabarek, D., Espinoza, D., Smit, A., Thompson, J., Bell, K., et al (2022). Assessing the Potential for Patient-led Surveillance after Treatment of Localized Melanoma (MEL-SELF): A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatology, 158(1), 33-42.
Attrill, G., Lee, H., Tasker, A., Adegoke, N., Ferguson, A., Esteves Domingues Pires da Silva, I., Saw, R., Thompson, J., Palendira, U., Long, G., Ferguson, P., Scolyer, R., Wilmott, J. (2022). Detailed spatial immunophenotyping of primary melanomas reveals immune cell subpopulations associated with patient outcome. Frontiers in Immunology, 13.
Conway, J., Rawson, R., Lo, S., Ahmed, T., Vergara Correa, I., Gide, T., Attrill, G., Carlino, M., Saw, R., Thompson, J., Spillane, A., Shannon, K., Shivalingam, B., Menzies, A., Wilmott, J., Long, G., Scolyer, R., Esteves Domingues Pires da Silva, I. (2022). Unveiling the tumor immune microenvironment of organ-specific melanoma metastatic sites. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, 10(9).
Dempsey, K., Saw, R., Bartula, I., Lo, S., Lawn, C., Pennington, T., Spillane, A., Boyle, F., Dong, S., Dieng, M., Morton, R., et al (2022). Embedding electronic patient-reported outcome measures into routine care for patients with stage III MELanoma (ePROMs-MEL): Protocol for a prospective, longitudinal, mixed-methods pilot study. BMJ Open, 12(12).
Diefenbach, R., Lee, J., Stewart, A., Menzies, A., Carlino, M., Saw, R., Stretch, J., Long, G., Scolyer, R., Rizos, H. (2022). Anchored Multiplex PCR Custom Melanoma Next Generation Sequencing Panel for Analysis of Circulating Tumor DNA. Frontiers in Oncology, 12, 820510.
Dieng, M., Lord, S., Turner, R., Nieweg, O., Menzies, A., Saw, R., Einstein, A., Emmett, L., Thompson, J., Lo, S., Morton, R. (2022). The Impact of Surveillance Imaging Frequency on the Detection of Distant Disease for Patients with Resected Stage III Melanoma. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 29(5), 2871-2881.
Dieng, M., Turner, R., Lord, S., Einstein, A., Menzies, A., Saw, R., Nieweg, O., Thompson, J., Morton, R. (2022). Cost-Effectiveness of PET/CT Surveillance Schedules to Detect Distant Recurrence of Resected Stage III Melanoma. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(4), 2331.
Drabarek, D., Habgood, E., Ackermann, D., Hersch, J., Janda, M., Morton, R., Guitera, P., Peter Soyer, H., Collgros Totosaus, H., Cust, A., Saw, R., Dieng, M., Bell, K., et al (2022). Perspectives and Experiences of Patient-Led Melanoma Surveillance Using Digital Technologies From Clinicians Involved in the MEL-SELF Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial: Qualitative Interview Study. JMIR Dermatology, 5(4).
El Sharouni, M., Scolyer, R., van Gils, C., Ch'ng, S., Nieweg, O., Pennington, T., Saw, R., Shannon, K., Spillane, A., Stretch, J., Thompson, J., Lo, S., et al (2022). Effect of the time interval between melanoma diagnosis and sentinel node biopsy on the size of metastatic tumour deposits in node-positive patients. European Journal of Cancer, 167, 133-141.
El Sharouni, M., Scolyer, R., van Gils, C., Ch'ng, S., Nieweg, O., Pennington, T., Saw, R., Shannon, K., Spillane, A., Stretch, J., Thompson, J., Lo, S., et al (2022). Time interval between diagnostic excision-biopsy of a primary melanoma and sentinel node biopsy: effects on the sentinel node positivity rate and survival outcomes. European Journal of Cancer, 167, 123-132.
Hanna, S., Marinos, E., Bryan, D., Ahmed, T., Lo, S., Carlino, M., Smith, A., Cairns, G., Shannon, K., Long, G., Scolyer, R., Saw, R. (2022). Effect of the SunSafe Student Ambassador Program on the attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of Australian high-school students towards sun safety: a prospective study. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 47(11), 1956-1967.
Ho, G., Schwartz, R., Regio Pereira, A., Dimitrou, F., Paver, E., McKenzie, C., Saw, R., Scolyer, R., Long, G., Guitera, P. (2022). Reflectance confocal microscopy - a non-invasive tool for monitoring systemic treatment response in stage III unresectable primary scalp melanoma. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 36(7), e583-e585.
Holmberg, C., Ny, L., Hieken, T., Block, M., Carr, M., Sondak, V., Ortenwall, C., Katsarelias, D., Dimitriou, F., Menzies, A., Saw, R., Rogiers, A., et al (2022). The efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade for melanoma in-transit with or without nodal metastases. A multicenter cohort study. European Journal of Cancer, 169, 210-222.
Lawless, A., Coker, D., Lo, S., Ahmed, T., Scolyer, R., Ch'ng, S., Nieweg, O., Shannon, K., Spillane, A., Stretch, J., Thompson, J., Saw, R. (2022). ASO Visual Abstract: Clinicopathological Characteristics Predicting Further Recurrence and Survival Following Resection of In-transit Melanoma Metastases. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 29(11), 7031-7032.
Lawless, A., Coker, D., Lo, S., Ahmed, T., Scolyer, R., Ch'ng, S., Nieweg, O., Shannon, K., Spillane, A., Stretch, J., Thompson, J., Saw, R. (2022). Clinicopathological Characteristics Predicting Further Recurrence and Survival Following Resection of In-Transit Melanoma Metastases. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 29(11), 7019-7028.
Li, A., Miin Yip, J., Choksi, H., London, K., Potter, A., Lo, S., Saw, R., Shannon, K., Esteves Domingues Pires da Silva, I., Varey, A., Menzies, A., Long, G., Shivalingam, B., Scolyer, R., Thompson, J., Ch'ng, S. (2022). Lack of association between anatomical sites of scalp melanomas and brain metastases does not support direct vascular spread. Melanoma Research, 32(4), 260-268.
Liyanage, U., MacGregor, S., Bishop, D., Shi, J., An, J., Ong, J., Han, X., Scolyer, R., Martin, N., Medland, S., Saw, R., Thompson, J., Stretch, J., Spillane, A., et al (2022). Multi-Trait Genetic Analysis Identifies Autoimmune Loci Associated with Cutaneous Melanoma. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 142(6), 1607-1616.
Newell, F., Esteves Domingues Pires da Silva, I., Johansson, P., Menzies, A., Wilmott, J., Addala, V., Carlino, M., Rizos, H., Nones, K., Edwards, J., Ferguson, P., Thompson, J., Spillane, A., Saw, R., Shannon, K., Mann, G., Scolyer, R., Long, G., et al (2022). Multiomic profiling of checkpoint inhibitor-treated melanoma: Identifying predictors of response and resistance, and markers of biological discordance. Cancer Cell, 40(1), 88-1.02E+09.
Newell, F., Johansson, P., Wilmott, J., Nones, K., Lakis, V., Pritchard, A., Lo, S., Rawson, R., Kazakoff, S., Colebatch, A., Ferguson, P., Vergara Correa, I., Long, G., Nieweg, O., Shivalingam, B., Stretch, J., Spillane, A., Saw, R., Shannon, K., Thompson, J., et al (2022). Comparative Genomics Provides Etiologic and Biological Insight into Melanoma Subtypes. Cancer Discovery, 12(12), 2856-2879.
Pennington, T., Zhao, C., Colebatch, A., Fernandez Penas, P., Guitera, P., Burke, H., Scolyer, R., Menzies, A., Carlino, M., Lo, S., Long, G., Saw, R. (2022). Clinicopathological characteristics of new primary melanomas in patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for metastatic melanoma. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 63(2), e133-e137.
Potter, A., Colebatch, A., Rawson, R., Ferguson, P., Cooper, W., Gupta, R., O'Toole, S., Saw, R., Ch'ng, S., Menzies, A., Long, G., Scolyer, R. (2022). Pathologist initiated reflex BRAF mutation testing in metastatic melanoma: experience at a specialist melanoma treatment centre. Pathology, 54(5), 526-532.
Reijers, I., Menzies, A., van Akkooi, A., Versluis, J., van den Heuvel, N., Saw, R., Pennington, T., Kapiteijn, E., Van Der Veldt, A., Suijkerbuijk, K., Gonzalez, M., Shannon, K., Ch'ng, S., Colebatch, A., Spillane, A., et al (2022). Personalized response-directed surgery and adjuvant therapy after neoadjuvant ipilimumab and nivolumab in high-risk stage III melanoma: the PRADO trial. Nature Medicine, 28(6), 1178-1188.
Reijers, I., Rawson, R., Colebatch, A., Rozeman, E., Menzies, A., van Akkooi, A., Shannon, K., Wouters, M., Saw, R., van Houdt, W., Nieweg, O., Ch'ng, S., Spillane, A., Long, G., Scolyer, R., et al (2022). Representativeness of the Index Lymph Node for Total Nodal Basin in Pathologic Response Assessment after Neoadjuvant Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy in Patients with Stage III Melanoma. JAMA Surgery, 157(4), 335-342.
Scolyer, R., Atkinson, V., Gyorki, D., Lambie, D., O'Toole, S., Saw, R., Amanuel, B., Angel, C., Button-Sloan, A., Carlino, M., Ch'ng, S., Daneshvar, D., Esteves Domingues Pires da Silva, I., Ferguson, P., Gill, A., Gupta, R., Hong, A., Howle, J., Jackett, L., Lee, C., et al (2022). BRAF mutation testing for patients diagnosed with stage III or stage IV melanoma: practical guidance for the Australian setting. Pathology, 54(1), 6-19.
Seviiri, M., Scolyer, R., Bishop, D., Newton-Bishop, J., Iles, M., Lo, S., Stretch, J., Saw, R., Nieweg, O., Shannon, K., Spillane, A., Thompson, J., Long, G., et al (2022). Higher polygenic risk for melanoma is associated with improved survival in a high ultraviolet radiation setting. Journal of Translational Medicine, 20(1).
Simpson, R., Shanahan, E., Batten, M., Reijers, I., Read, M., Da Silva, I., Versluis, J., Ribeiro, R., Angelatos, A., Tan, J., Adhikari, C., Menzies, A., Saw, R., Gonzalez, M., Shannon, K., Spillane, A., Velickovic, R., Macia, L., Holmes, A., Wilmott, J., Scolyer, R., Long, G., et al (2022). Diet-driven microbial ecology underpins associations between cancer immunotherapy outcomes and the gut microbiome. Nature Medicine, 28(11), 2344-2352.
Thompson, J., Smith, A., Lo, S., Kasparian, N., Saw, R., Dieng, M., Seaman, L., Martin, L., Guitera, P., Milne, D., Schmid, H., Cust, A., Bartula, I. (2022). Protocol for the implementation of a stepped-care model to address fear of cancer recurrence in patients previously diagnosed with early-stage (0-II) melanoma. BMJ Open, 12(3), e054337-1-e054337-11.
van Akkooi, A., Hieken, T., Burton, E., Ariyan, C., Ascierto, P., Asero, S., Blank, C., Block, M., Boland, G., Caraco, C., Ch'ng, S., Long, G., Menzies, A., Pennington, T., Saw, R., Scolyer, R., et al (2022). Neoadjuvant Systemic Therapy (NAST) in Patients with Melanoma: Surgical Considerations by the International Neoadjuvant Melanoma Consortium (INMC). Annals of Surgical Oncology.