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
Image from an endoscopy video with the detected artefacts highlighted with coloured boxes.

Using AI to improve the quality of endoscopy videos

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has developed a deep-learning framework for improving endoscopy to aid cancer detection.

New melanoma drug a step closer to the clinic

Clinical trials into the use of Tebentafusp for metastatic uveal melanoma have been conducted by the University of Oxford and Immunocore. The positive results of the most recent trial mean this drug could now be used in future treatment.

The search for pancreatic cancer biomarkers

Nuffield Department of Population Health researchers are using the China Kadoorie Biobank to identify potential protein biomarkers in the blood that could be used to predict the presence or development of pancreatic cancer

What we can learn from cancer survivors

Understanding how an individual survives cancer, and why they respond well to therapy, can be vital in identifying new therapeutic targets. A new project seeks to see why some advanced pancreatic cancer patients overcome the odds and respond positively to treatment.

Early stage ‘red flag’ symptoms for pancreatic cancer

The ADEPTS study uses the QResearch database to better understand what ‘red flag’ symptoms may be associated with pancreatic cancer, in the hopes of promoting earlier diagnosis from primary care.

Oxford Cancer alumni’s biotech success

Scenic Biotech, co-founded by former Ludwig Oxford Cancer group leader Sebastian Nijman, collaborates with Roche group member Genentech in a $375m deal

Detecting pancreatic cancer through blood tests

The Song Lab recently developed an effective and accurate way of detecting cancer biomarkers in the blood. Now, they are looking at the application of TAPS technology in pancreatic cancer

Innovative drug delivery techniques show promise in clinical trials

Dr Laura Spiers talks about the TarDox and PanDox trials, which are using novel drug delivery techniques to improve the uptake of chemotherapy drugs into pancreatic tumours and other cancers

Understanding breast cancer risk in Chinese populations

Researchers from the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) are utilising the China Kadoorie Biobank to better understand how breast cancer risk factors may differ between individuals from Western and Eastern populations