The main aim of the MelanoBase project is large-scale automatic extraction of actionable information from the biomedical literature and its integration with existing structured knowledge (life science databases). The innovative outcome of this strategy is to provide users (basic and clinical researchers) with knowledge that can be more easily queried, and automatically processed, with the purpose of increasing the efficiency of biology research. The specific use-case scenario of melanoma disease has been selected for the histopathological complexity of these lesions, and to provide solutions for the unmet need of separating true drivers of this disease from a myriad of (epi)genetic inconsequential byproducts accumulated during melanoma genesis. The project will pursue a literature-wide and disease-centric approach which sets it apart from comparable projects worldwide.

The MelanoBase project aims at integrating all available knowledge about melanoma, with particular emphasis on hard-to diagnose lesions and on mechanisms of resistance to clinically approved treatments and compounds in experimental testing. The resulting knowledge resource will be tested in the context of some European leading cancer research centers, and a large pharmaceutical company.

The primary goal of MelanoBase is to enable integration of the unstructured knowledge available in the literature with the structured knowledge stored in life sciences databases. Additional sources such as, for example, clinical trial reports, systematic reviews (Cochrane), and prescription drug information might also be mined in a second stage of the project. Our ultimate goal is accelerate gene discovery and drug target validation in the area of melanoma.

The results of the MelanoBase project will be integrated within the Melanoma Molecular Map repository and experimentally relevant information will be validated by well-known experts in the field.

Funding: CHF 420’469, Swiss National Science Foundation (grant CR30I1_162758)

More details at:

Principal investigator: Dr. Fabio Rinaldi

Main collaborations:

  • Alberto Lavelli, FBK, Italy
  • Carlo Strapparava, FBK, Italy
  • Dr. Raul Rodriguez-Esteban, Roche, Switzerland
  • Dr. María S. Soengas, CNIO, Spain
  • Dr. Simone Mocellin, University of Padova, Italy
Date: March 2016 - February 2019 (3 years)