Project granted by the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitization, CCCDI - UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-PCE-2021-0549, within PNCDI III

Contract NR. PCE 9 ⁄ 2022 - PACMEL

Portrayal of antigen presenting cells in cutaneous melanoma – innovative pillars for harnessing immunotherapy

Acronim: PACMEL

Duration: 31 months, 25.06.2022-31.12.2024

Funds: 243,902 Euro (1.200.000 RON)


Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and the rising incidences and high mortality are major medical concerns. New and valuable scientific information was acquired on immune mechanisms involved in melanoma development allowing the immune-related drugs onset. The need to identify immune-related markers that predict response to treatment is steadily increasing. Mature dendritic cells (DCs) process antigens (Ag), present them to lymphocytes, hence is a central cell for initiating an effective anti-tumoral immune response. Based on our published findings and expanded in this project we will study Ag presenting cells (APCs), their involvement in the specific immune response in melanoma. We will analyze melanoma with regression as model for immune-mediated tumor destruction vs. melanoma without regression and as benign counterpart nevi with regression (halo nevi) and common nevi.


  • particularities of the inflammatory infiltrate and different types of immune responses in melanomas with and without regression vs. benign control.
  • new insights in host’s immune response in melanoma with and without regression versus corresponding benign lesions with subsequent identification of candidate circulatory and/or tissue biomarkers
  • new criteria for classification of melanoma based on differences of APC presence in inflammatory infiltrate and in the blood stream.

The project will disseminate (read more about …) on large scale the results and will define for the first time the “immunophenotype” of patients diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma.