The Melanoma World Society (MWS) is the successor organization to the WHO Melanoma Group. The latter established the World Congress of Melanoma in the years 1985–2005 and has conducted trials and other projects with melanoma patients. The WHO melanoma group was disbanded in 2005, as WHO no longer financially supported such expert groups. MWS was initiated at the 8th World Congress of Melanoma 2013 in Hamburg, founded in June 2014 in Munich, and registered in January 2016.

The following missions will guide the activities of MWS:

Improvement of Medical Education
MWS will host the World Congress of Melanoma (WCM) every four years, following the tradition since 1985. The World Congress of Melanoma is the largest congress in this field, combining scientific and clinical topics and bringing together scientists and clinicians. The next World Congress of Melanoma is planned for 2021 in Rome. MWS also organized educational meetings in South America and South Africa, regions in which few training courses on melanoma take place. Future meetings are in planning.

Improvement of Guideline Development
MWS intends to unify diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in melanoma / skin cancer worldwide. MWS will establish a MELANOMA / SKIN CANCER KNOWLEDGE DATABASE (MKD), which contains all relevant articles for evidence based medicine in melanoma / skin cancer, and additionally evidence tables for these articles. The MKD will be accessible for all national guideline-development groups. MWS will organize international expert meetings in order to develop recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of melanoma in the rapidly changing landscape.

Improvement of Patient’s Access to New Treatments
MWS intends to provide melanoma patients worldwide access to new and more efficacious treatments. MWS will address governments in order to achieve a more rapid reimbursement of new treatments. MWS will address pharmaceutical companies in order to achieve access to new treatment modalities in countries, where the high cost medications are not affordable.

Improvement of Clinical Research in Melanoma
MWS will coordinate clinical research activities in melanoma internationally. MWS will perform international clinical trials in indications, which are not being investigated by the pharmaceutical industry. MWS will support international expert meetings in order to coordinate clinical research. A special focus will be placed on patient-directed outcome research. The focus here will be on the individual benefit for the patient.