In the last years, considerable progress has been made in understanding the origins and clinical management of large congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN) and its related disorders. New results from genetics, cell biology, epidemiology, and therapeutic research are flanked by enormous efforts made by patient initiatives around the world, spearheaded by groups in the U.S. and European countries. There is enormous potential for synergy between all of these players. The conference in Tubingen, Germany aims to enable the exchange of the most up-to-date, sometimes unpublished information from basic biology and clinical medicine among outstanding researchers and physicians in the field. This conference will foster and enable the coordination of novel, interdisciplinary and international collaborations among participants. The leadership of major U.S. and European advocacy groups will attend the conference, to represent patient participation in those translational research projects for which the groundwork will be laid during the conference. These outcomes will make important contributions to the improvement of diagnosis and treatment for patients with this disfiguring and potentially life-threatening disease.
Large CMN, depending on size, occur in 1:20.000 to 1:500.000 live births. Affected patients and their families are confronted with the risk of malignant degeneration and with considerable psychosocial problems due the cosmetic disfigurement. From a scientific point of view, the condition bears important implications as a biological model for the genetics and pathobiology of pigment cell diseases, most importantly malignant melanoma.