Prof. Reinhard Dummer


Dermatooncology, immune-oncology, melanoma, skin cancer, translational medicine

What we investigate

Prof. Dummer has developed a leading skin cancer center. This center offers best medical care and a network of clinical trials reaching from phase I to phase III. Locally he collaborates with basic research groups, which has resulted in translation work improving our understanding of cutaneous malignancies.

Our research in more detail

Abbildung Werner
This graph describes the interplay between melanoma cells and inflammatory cells during a combined therapy using targeted molecules (BRAF and MEK Inhibitors) and anti-PD1 antibody therapy. Referenz: Dummer R, Ascierto P, etc. Rationale for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Plus Targeted Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma. JAMA Oncology 2020.

Based on his education in immunology, dermatology and oncology, Reinhard Dummer is focusing on the biology and the treatment of skin cancers. This includes cutaneous lymphomas with a special focus of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, melanoma and epithelial skin cancers. He has pioneered the immunotherapy of metastatic melanoma in Switzerland. Checkpoint inhibitors, but also intralesional gene therapy approaches have been initiated in the Department of Dermatology over the last decades.
The clinical activities are paired with translational activities using biopsies or peripheral
blood lymphocytes. Skin cancers are perfect neoplasias for this type of activity, because repeated biopsies are easy to perform. Recently, also fine-needle-aspiration has been used to follow cellular and molecular alterations induced by therapeutic interventions.
Immunotherapeutic agents are increasingly used for various tumor entities and lead to impressive reductions in metastases in some tumors. They act via the activation of immunological defense mechanisms, which, however, are not specifically limited to the tumor cells, but can also attack various organs. In this context, we are increasingly observing autoimmune phenomena in different organ systems, which must be carefully assessed by the relevant experts. An interdisciplinary expert group for immune oncology was therefore established at the University Hospital of Zurich to assist with specific questions in these fields.

Selected publications

SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are underlined:

  • Dummer R, Long G, et al. (2020). Spartalizumab plus Dabrafenib and Trametinib for BRAF V600-mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma. New Engl J Med, in press
  • Dummer R, Lebbé C, et al. Combined PD-1, BRAF, and MEK inhibition in advanced BRAF-mutant melanoma: Safety run-in and biomarker cohorts of COMBI-I (2020). Nat Med, 26(10), 1557-1563.
  • Dummer R, Ascierto PA, Gogas HJ, Arance A, Mandala M, Liszkay G, Garbe C, Schadendorf D, Krajsova I, Gutzmer R et al.(2018). Encorafenib plus binimetinib versus vemurafenib or encorafenib in patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma (COLUMBUS): a multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol 19: 603-615
  • Wolchok JD, Chiarion-Sileni V, Gonzalez R, Rutkowski P, Grob JJ, Cowey CL, Lao CD, Wagstaff J, Schadendorf D, Ferrucci PF, Smylie M, Dummer R, et al. (2017). Overall survival with combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in advanced melanoma. N Engl J Med 377: 1345-1356
  • Migden MR, Guminski A, Gutzmer R, Dirix L, Lewis K, Combermale P, Herd RM, Kudchadkar R, Trefzer U, Gogov S, Pallaud C, Yi T, Mone M, Kaatz M, Loquai C, Stratigos AJ, Schulze HJ, Plummer R, Chang AL, Cornélis F, Lear JT, Sellami D and Dummer R (2015). Treatment with two different doses of sonidegib in patients with locally advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BOLT): a multicentre, randomized, double-blind phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol 16: 716-728.