Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Scientists develop the first blood test for melanoma detection

23 July 2018 | News

The new blood test detects the autoantibodies produced in the body in response to the melanoma.

Scientists at the Edith Cowan University (ECU), Australia, have developed a blood test to detect melanoma in its early stages.

The blood test trial was carried out on 105 people with melanoma and a control group of 104 healthy individuals. The test detected early-stage melanoma in 79 per cent of cases.

According to the scientific team, patients who have their melanoma detected in its early stage have a five-year survival rate between 90-99 per cent, whereas if it is not caught early and it spreads around the body, the five-year survival rate drops to less than 50 per cent.

Melanoma is currently identified through a visual scan of an affected skin area and then a biopsy is conducted on the area. But these biopsies are invasive and costly, with previous research showing that the Australian health system spends $201 million on melanoma each year with an additional $73 million on negative biopsies.

The new blood test detects the autoantibodies produced in the body in response to the melanoma. This test would serve as a tool to detect melanoma in its early stages before it spreads throughout the body.

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