Media Briefing/Press ConferenceFrom: Australian Science Media Centre
NEWS BRIEFING: First melanoma blood test to detect early-stage disease
NEWS BRIEFING: Mon 16th Jul 2018 at 11:00 AEST online
Scientists from Edith Cowan University (ECU) have developed the world's first blood test capable of detecting melanoma in its early stages, an innovation that should save thousands of lives, and save the health system millions of dollars.
The blood test was trialed on a total of 209 people, 105 of whom had melanoma, and picked up early stage melanoma in 81.5 per cent of cases.
It works by detecting antibodies produced by the body in response to melanoma. The team examined 1,627 different antibodies and identified a combination of ten that are the most reliable in predicting the presence of melanoma.
The next step is a clinical trial to validate the findings. The scientists say the test could be available for clinical use in around three years.
Survival rates for melanoma are between 90 and 95 per cent if the disease is detected early, but if the cancer spreads, survival rates drop to below 50 per cent.
Currently, melanomas are detected visually by clinicians, with any areas of concern biopsied, but three out of four biopsies return negative results. Biospies are uncomfortable for patients and expensive - Australia spends $201m annually, $73m of which is accounted for by negative biospies.
- Professor Mel Ziman is Head of the Melanoma Research Group at Edith Cowan University
Date: Mon 16th July 2018
Start Time: 11:00am AEST
Duration: Approx 45 min