Leading Skin Cancer Research from the Dermatology Clinic

Rubeta Matin is a Consultant Dermatologist with an interest in Cutaneous Oncology based at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her research career stems from a MRC Clinical Training Fellowship investigating treatment resistance of melanoma (2006-2009), which led to a PhD in Molecular Mechanisms in Melanoma. She is Dermatology Research Lead for Skin Cancer and runs an active clinical research programme, currently Chief Investigator for four clinical trials and Principal Investigator for five trials.

 “As a clinician I work at the interface with patients ensuring that the research that I do is always focused on improving patient outcomes.” 

Early skin cancer diagnosis and prevention

Rubeta is a core member of the Cochrane Skin Cancer Diagnostic Test Accuracy Group co-authoring a suite of systematic reviews evaluating diagnosis and staging of skin cancers. She also leads an international commercial collaboration testing a novel digital dermatoscope in secondary care aimed to enhance diagnostic accuracy.

Skin toxicity associated with targeted treatments  / immunotherapy in metastatic melanoma. 

Rubeta is collaborating with the Medical Oncology Melanoma Team to investigate the clinicopathological diversity of skin toxicities and T-cell responses in the skin of melanoma patients treated with immune-checkpoint blockers. Skin reactions are the most frequent and earliest side effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors which are used to treat metastatic melanoma and increasingly used in other cancers. The clinical and molecular features of skin toxicity are poorly characterised and many individuals are not managed by dermatologists with expertise in these novel toxicities.

Patient Reported Outcomes 

As leader of a workstream evaluating Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) in skin cancers in collaboration with NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care (CLAHRC), Rubeta’s research seeks to improve care by integrating patient perspectives. She has collaborated with the CLAHRC patient experiences and patient reported outcomes theme evaluating feasibility of using the Skin Cancer Quality of Life Impact Tool in skin cancer screening clinics.

Collaborators in Oxford include Mark Middleton, Benjamin Fairfax and Miranda Payne (Medical Oncology), Crispin Jenkinson and Ray Fitzpatrick (Patient Reported Outcomes), and Graham Collins (Haematology). National collaborators are Catherine Harwood (Barts Health Trust) and Charlotte Proby (Dundee).

Rubeta is funded by NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Grant, Skin Cancer Research Fund, UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network Themed Call Research Fund, and Oxfordshire Health Services Research Committee.

Find out more about our research below
An animated drawing of the DNA double helix on a background of DNA sequence (a, c, g, t)

Developing a system to simultaneously detect genetic and epigenetic information

Dr Benjamin Schuster-Böckler wins funding to develop algorithms that can identify both genetic variation and DNA methylation from the same sequencing data, with applications in biomedical research and detection of diseases such as cancer.

Finding extracellular vesicle biomarkers for oesophageal cancer early detection

Prof Deborah Goberdhan’s lab is investigating extracellular vesicles and the proteins they express as potential biomarkers for the progression from Barrett’s Oesophagus to oesophageal cancer

Detecting for multiple cancers in one simple test

Prof. Jason Davis is working alongside clinicians to introduce his biomarker assays into the clinic. Using a range of electroanalytical methods, together with electrode arrays and microfluidics, the platform has the potential to test for many types of cancers all at once, and at an earlier, pre-symptomatic stage.
A molecule of DNA with a radiating light representing mutation

Understanding how inherited and acquired mutations interact to affect cancer

Development fund awardee Gareth Bond is investigating how different types of genetic mutations cooperate to influence cancer risk, progression and response to therapy

Studying viral genetics to aid liver cancer early detection

Professor Ellie Barnes and Dr Azim Ansari receive funding to identify cancer-associated strains of hepatitis C in Pakistan to improve assessment of liver cancer risk
Christina Ye

Christina Ye awarded CRUK pre-doctoral fellowship

Christina Ye has been awarded CRUK pre-doctoral fellowship, she tells us about her upcoming project into T cell trafficking between the blood and skin when patients undergo checkpoint immunotherapy

Understanding how cancer arises from infected tissue

Dr Francesco Boccellato is investigating the mechanisms behind the pre-cancerous condition known as atrophic gastritis. This may help to identify those who may have cancer, as well as find new ways to prevent cancer from progressing

Detecting myeloma earlier

Several research projects are underway in Oxford focusing on different points in the clinical care pathway to improve myeloma early detection.
The NMR machine in the lab of James Larkins, with samples lined up to be analysed

Following the cancer metabolomic breadcrumb trail

By analysing the metabolic molecules that tumour cells leave behind, Dr James Larkin is investigating the applications of metabolomics in the early detection of many cancers.