Immomec Meeting


Tuesday 15 November, 11.00-19.00, MUMC+, Maastricht 
Final Annual Meeting – IMMOMEC

The annual meeting will take place in the Maasstricht University Medical Center (MUMC+)
Department of Pathology, room 5.MT.001, Level 5.

Maastricht University Medical Center
Department of Pathology
P. Debyelaan 25
6229 HX Maastricht
the Netherlands

Wednesday 16 November, 09.00-16.30, MECC, Maastricht
International Symposium on the Immunology and Immunotherapy of Merkel cell Carcinoma

09.00-09.15 Opening
Jürgen C. Becker
Translational Oncology, Institute for Translational Skin Cancer Research (TSCR) within the West German Cancer Center at the University Hospital, Essen, Germany
Room 0.2 / 0.3
09.15-09.45 Epidemiology of Merkel cell carcinoma
Andreas Stang
Center of Clinical Epidemiology (CCE) at the Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital of Essen, Germany
Room 0.2 / 0.3
09.45-10.15 Molecular insights into the biology of the human tumorigenic Merkel cell polyomavirus
Nicole Fischer
Institute for Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
Room 0.2 / 0.3
10.15-10.45 Cell of origin of Merkel cell carcinoma
Axel zur Hausen
Pathology at Maastricht University, Netherlands
Room 0.2 / 0.3
10.45-11.00 Coffee Break
Exhibition area - Lobby
11.00-11.30 Molecular mechanism of Merkel cell polyomavirus carcinogenesis
Masahiro Shuda
Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburg, USA
Room 0.2 / 0.3
11.30-12.00 Functions of large T antigen in MCC cells
David Schrama
Department of Dermatology, Julius-Maximilians-University of Wuerzburg, Germany
Room 0.2 / 0.3
12.00-12.45 Lunch discussion Exhibition area - Lobby
12.45-13.15 Does Sunlight and Merkel cell polyomavirus target the same pathways in Merkel cell carcinoma?
James DeCaprio
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, USA
Room 0.2 / 0.3
13.15-13.45  Rikke Lyngaa
Section for Immunology and Vaccinology, National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark
Room 0.2 / 0.3
13.45-14.15 Epigenetic regulation of MHC class I expression
Cathrin Ritter
Translational Skin Cancer Research (TSCR), German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), University Hospital Essen, Germany
Room 0.2 / 0.3
14.15-14.45 Merkel cell carcinoma at the University of Michigan: A Multidisciplinary Clinical and Translational Research Program
Christopher Bichakjian
Dermatology at University of Michigan Medical School, USA
Room 0.2 / 0.3
14.45-15.00 Coffee Break Exhibition area - Lobby
15.00-15.30 Progress and problems on the road to immune therapy for Merkel cell carcinoma
Paul Nghiem
University of Washington, Dermatology, Seattle, USA
Room 0.2 / 0.3
15.30 Closing ceremony
Jürgen C. Becker
Translational Oncology, Institute for Translation Skin Cancer Research (TSCR) within the West German Cancer Center at the University Hospital, Essen, Germany
Room 0.2 / 0.3

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)
This is a highly aggressive, often lethal neuroendocrine cancer of the skin associated with the recently discovered, common Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). With an incidence of 0.44 per 100,000 MCC is a very rare cancer. Notably, however, although MCC is 40 times less common than malignant melanoma, MCC has a dramatically higher mortality rate than melanoma rendering MCC to the most lethal skin cancer. Indeed, epidemiologic data suggest that there are approximately 2500 new MCC cases per year within the EU; approximately 1000 of these patients will die from their disease. This high mortality rate is largely due to the fact that to date none of the currently available therapeutic interventions is able to improve overall survival of patients suffering from metastatic disease. Consequently, new therapeutic strategies are needed for metastatic MCC. Since several lines of evidence indicate the outstanding immunogenicity of MCC, immune modulating treatment strategies are particularly attractive. 

International top speakers will present their latest research projects and results regarding on MCC.

The International Symposium focus on:
- Update on the Epidemiology of MCC
- The carcinogenesis and biology of MCC
- Adaptive and innate immune responses to MCC
- Immune escape mechanisms of MCC
- Update on ongoing adjuvant and palliative immunotherapeutic trials in MCC
- Innovative interventions to boost immune responses to MCC

For registration, please send an email to

Jürgen C. Becker: Information about the European Project IMMOMEC
IMMOMEC is a 5-year project to establish and investigate an innovative and effective immunotherapy for MCC. IMMOMEC will develop a rational immune therapeutic approach for treatment of patients with MCC that is based on the targeted delivery of interleukin-2 to the tumor microenvironment. However, IMMOMEC will not only provide a new therapeutic option for MCC patients, but will also establish the relevance of immune modulating strategies to treat solid cancers in general, establish and validate new tools to monitor patients receiving such therapies as well as compile prognostic and predictive biomarkers to individualize immune modulating therapies.

Please click on the logo for more information about the Immomec project.