About Us

The Melanoma Immune Oncology Research Group (MIORG) is a cancer research group lead by Dr. Carlos Rogerio Figueiredo and based at the Cancer Research Unit, a research core from the Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Turku, which provides the infrastructure for more than 100 scientists and technicians in Finland.

Immunotherapies that target immune checkpoint regulatory (ICR) molecules, such as the cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and the programmed cell death 1 (PD-1), also called immune checkpoint blockers (ICB) have become standard treatments for metastatic melanoma and other cancer types, achieving impressive clinical improvements.

Our vision is to conduct world-class research to improve immunotherapy for refractory metastatic melanoma patients to ICB, which is also likely to impact the treatment of a broad range of other cancers, including lung cancer, gliomas, and glioblastoma.

Understanding the fundamental mechanisms that underlie immunotherapy resistance in metastatic melanomas, and developing strategies that mitigate these mechanisms are critical steps to unleash the full power of immunotherapies.

By applying state-of-the-art technologies, including Mass Cytometry and Digital Spatial Profiling (NanoString), we are uncovering novel pathways associated with ICB resistance, mostly involved in the mechanisms of T lymphocyte suppression, which will provide new directions towards combinatory therapies for metastatic cutaneous and uveal melanoma.

Our research is aligned with sustainable development by engaging a participatory society for citizens. We are committed to promoting equal opportunities to enable all people to have access to the most recent updates related to the field of metastatic melanoma prognostication and therapy in Finland and worldwide.