Prof. Dr. Jochen Utikal
Phone: +49 621 3833905
Fax: +49 621 3833815




Using science to...


achieve Progress in the treatment of melanoma.  

Clinical Cooperation Unit Dermatooncology


Our group/department has:

  • The Clinical Cooperation Unit Dermatooncology conducts several translational research projects including different Phase I - IV clinical trials with innovative melanoma therapies. We have established a very well organized clinical trial center with 3 subinvestigators and 4 study nurses.
  • We contributed to different multicenter world-wide clinical trials - e.g. Flaherty et al. N Engl. J Med 2012 where it was shown that MEK-inhibition improves survival of unresectable BRAF-mutated melanoma.
  • Our department has shown that chronic inflammation promotes myeloid-derived suppressor cell activation blocking antitumor immunity in a transgenic mouse melanoma model (Meyer et al., PNAS 2011).
  • We started an investigator-initiated clinical trial on low-dose Paclitaxel in patients with metastatic melanoma. We hypothesize that neutralizing myeloid-derived suppressor cell-induced immunosuppression upon this treatment will result in the restoration of CD8 T cell frequencies and anti-tumor activity leading to clinical benefits for melanoma patients.
  • The Clinical Cooperation Unit Dermatooncology is engaged both in basic and translational research and participates scientifically in program project grants (SFB873, SFB636 and SFB938). Jochen Utikal is leading also a Max-Eder Research Group of the German Cancer Aid.

2010 – 2013

  • Flaherty KT, Robert C, Hersey P, Nathan P, Garbe C, Milhem M, Demidov LV, Hassel JC, Rutkowski P, Mohr P, Dummer R, Trefzer U, Larkin JM, Utikal J, Dreno B, Nyakas M, Middleton MR, Becker JC, Casey M, Sherman LJ, Wu FS, Ouellet D, Martin AM, Patel K, Schadendorf D; METRIC Study Group. Improved survival with MEK inhibition in BRAF-mutated melanoma. N Engl J Med. 2012 Jul 12;367(2):107-14
  • Meyer C, Sevko A, Ramacher M, Bazhin AV, Falk CS, Osen W, Borrello I, Kato M, Schadendorf D, Baniyash M, Umansky V. Chronic inflammation promotes myeloid-derived suppressor cell activation blocking antitumor immunity in transgenic mouse melanoma model. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 11;108(41):17111-6.
  • Sevko A, Michels T, Vrohlings M, Umansky L, Beckhove P, Kato M, Shurin GV, Shurin MR, Umansky V. Antitumor effect of paclitaxel is mediated by inhibition of myeloid-derived suppressor cells and chronic inflammation in the spontaneous melanoma model.
    J Immunol. 2013 Mar 1;190(5):2464-71
  • Sevko A, Sade-Feldman M, Kanterman J, Michels T, Falk CS, Umansky L, Ramacher M, Kato M, Schadendorf D, Baniyash M, Umansky V. Cyclophosphamide promotes chronic inflammation-dependent immunosuppression and prevents antitumor response in melanoma.
    J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Jun;133(6):1610-9
  • Hirata A*, Utikal J*, Yamashita S, Aoki H, Watanabe A, Yamamoto T, Okano H, Bardeesy N, Kunisada T, Ushijima T, Hara A, Jaenisch R, Hochedlinger K, Yamada Y. Dose-dependent roles for canonical Wntsignalling in de novo crypt formation and cell cycle properties of the colonic epithelium.
    Development. 2013 Jan 1;140(1):66-75. (*contributed equally)