In early experimental stage now, the test wich is based on antibodies detection could speed up the diagnosis process, saving thousands of lives. The researchers were able to identify people with melanoma with 79% accuracy and people without a melanoma with 84% accuracy. “In order for it to be valued by clinicians we would need to get to 90% accuracy in detection,” project lead Professor Mel Ziman, leader of the university’s Melanoma Research Group said. If further trials are successful, Ziman estimates the test could be distributed internationally in up to five years. This is the first test to detect melanoma.
The World Health Organization estimates that 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. If detected early, skin cancers have a survival rate as high as 95%, the research team said, but it drops to just 50% if diagnosed late. Malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is mainly caused by exposure to UV radiation. It often starts with a change in a mole or a new growth on skin. Melanoma is currently detected using a visual scan by a doctor. Researchers say the blood test could provide more accurate results than the human eye. A biopsy is needed to diagnose a melanoma with certainty. The research was published in the journal Oncotarget.