The scientists, from Edith Cowan University, said the new test could help doctors detect the skin cancer before it spreads through a person’s body.
“Patients who have their melanoma detected in its early stage have a five-year survival rate between 90 and 99 percent,” lead researcher Pauline Zaenker said in a statement.
She added that survival rates fell to less than 50 percent if the cancer spread in the body.
“This is what makes this blood test so exciting as a potential screening tool because it can pick up melanoma in its very early stages when it is still treatable,” Zaenker said.
The research, published in the journal Oncotarget on Wednesday, included a trial involving 105 patients with melanoma and 104 healthy people.
The procedure detected early stage melanoma in 79 percent of cases, the scientists said.
Melanoma is currently detected using a visual scan by a doctor, with areas of concern cut out surgically and biopsied.
Zaenker said the new process involved identifying autoantibodies a person’s body produces in response to the cancer.
“We examined a total of 1627 different types of antibodies to identify a combination of 10 antibodies that best indicated the presence of melanoma in confirmed patients relative to healthy volunteers,” she added.
Cancer Council Australia chief executive Sanchia Aranda said the test would be important for high-risk groups, who have to undergo regular inspections of their spots and moles that can be difficult and time-consuming.
She cautioned that the test did not pick up other types of less deadly, but more common, skin cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma.
“People need to be very aware of whether they’ve got sun damage or UV damage on their skin, and be alert to changes in any spots or moles,” she told AFP.
The scientists will conduct another clinical trial lasting three years to validate the findings, and hope to have a test that clinics can use after that.
One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer, according to the World Health Organization, with Australia having among the highest incidences of melanoma in the world. DM
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
In 1952 Wernher von Braun wrote a paper where he believed a colony on Mars would be led by an individual named "Elon".