A study to find out if a special brain MRI scan can predict how well immunotherapy will work for people with melanoma that has spread (BRITEMET)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Skin cancer





This study is looking at whether a special MRI scan of your brain can help to predict how well treatment will work.

It is for people with melanoma that has spread to the brain. And who are going to have an immunotherapy Open a glossary item or a targeted cancer drug Open a glossary item

More about this trial

One of the most common places melanoma can spread to is the brain. 

Immunotherapy works well for about half of the people whose melanoma has spread to the brain. But immunotherapy can have serious side effects. This can happen even at the correct dose and with careful monitoring. 

So researchers are looking for ways to predict who might benefit from immunotherapy before starting treatment. In this study they are using a special MRI scan Open a glossary item (DTI- MRI scan) of the brain to see if they can find out who might benefit or not. 

To find this out the team need people with melanoma that has spread to the brain and who are about to start treatment with:

  • an immunotherapy or
  • a targeted cancer drug

Please note you won’t get any direct benefit from taking part in this study. But in the future doctors could use this information to give more personalised treatment for people with melanoma that has spread.  

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you. 

Who can take part

You may be able to join this study if all of the following apply. You:

  • have a diagnosis of melanoma spread to the brain 
  • can have an immunotherapy or another targeted drug  
  • are at least 16 years old

Who can’t take part

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You:

  • have already had an immunotherapy or another drug that affects the immune system Open a glossary item apart from steroids  
  • have had radiotherapy to all of your brain (whole brain radiotherapy) or to all the areas of spread (stereotactic radiotherapy
  • can’t have an MRI scan with a contrast medium Open a glossary item. This might be because your kidneys don’t work well enough, you are allergic to the contrast medium, you can’t be in small spaces (claustrophobic) or you have metal implants in your body.

Trial design

This is a pilot study. The team need up to 20 people to join. 

You have an MRI scan before starting treatment and once during treatment. Each scan takes about 15 minutes.

At the same time as the MRI scan the team take a blood sample.  

The researchers will look at your medical records to find out:

  • about your clinic visits
  • blood results
  • other scan results

Hospital visits

You have both the MRI scans at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust. 

Side effects

MRI scan is a safe procedure and the study team do not expect you to have any side effects from this scan. 

We have information about:

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Rasheed Zakaria

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Royal College of Surgeons
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
University of Liverpool
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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