International Melanoma Working Group (IMWG)
The International Melanoma Working Group (IMWG) was organized in April 2006. It was based on the premise that this disease required a focused, multi-disciplinary effort, among the world's leading melanoma investigators.
This new group would provide a think tank atmosphere for the world's leading melanoma experts to gather semi-annually, away from large meetings, the purpose of which was to provide for a better understanding of the biology of melanoma and to accelerate the quest for more effective therapies.
This was the beginning of the IMWG.
The IMWG identified the lack of resources for the acquisition of tissues as a major deficit in the field of melanoma, resulting in a lack of information regarding the basis of tumor progression, biological markers, and drug development. It has therefore undertaken several key work projects representing collaboration among the members, designed to strike at what they think are the key leverage points of the melanoma dilemma:
- Formation of a US and worldwide Melanoma Tissue Repository Network to facilitate the sharing of biologic material and the resulting informatics.
- Expansion of the Sentinel Node Procurement and Assessment Protocol to enable an in-depth assessment of the molecular profile and immunomodulation of melanoma.
- Collaboration on the expansion of the Melanoma Molecular Map Project through direct support for continual identification of new melanoma-specific targets and pathways. IMWG wishes to further enlarge this project by seeking research into the complex vulnerabilities and survival mechanisms of melanoma, by collecting findings of target and pathway interactions.
Through these specific research endeavors, IMWG hopes to develop unique new insights that will accelerate the rational combination of promising therapeutic agents. Through scientific talents and tireless drive, IMWG wants to be the catalyst for the beginning of the end of the unforgiving burden on patients, families, and clinicians who battle melanoma every day.
Simply stated, IMWG's mission is: Sharing One Passion: Defeating Melanoma