New online melanoma risk calculators critical to saving lives

New online melanoma risk calculators critical to saving lives

28 August 2020

Clinicians and their patients now have access to a series of online calculators which will assist in prevention, early detection and optimum treatment of melanoma, ultimately saving lives.

Developed by researchers at Melanoma Institute Australia and based on published risk prediction models, the three web-based calculators are housed on a new Melanoma Risk website launched today.

They predict a person’s risk of developing their first melanoma; their risk of developing a second or subsequent primary melanoma; and their risk of a primary melanoma having spread to nearby lymph nodes.

MIA Co-Medical Directors, Professor Richard Scolyer and Professor Georgina Long AO, said the risk calculators were the latest in the growing arsenal of early detection tools and ground-breaking treatments which they believed would culminate in achieving zero deaths from melanoma this decade.

‘Awareness, prevention, early detection and optimum treatment are key when it comes to tackling melanoma and saving lives from this disease,’ said Professor Richard Scolyer.

‘The online risk calculators are designed to inform discussions between clinicians and patients; two promote prevention and tailored skin surveillance programs for early detection and the third facilitates specialised treatment plans according to the specific patient’s risk,’ he said.

‘The development of these wonderful online tools is testament to the great work of many of our researchers and clinicians at MIA and will move us closer to reaching zero deaths from melanoma,’ added Professor Georgina Long AO.

Currently, Australia has one of the highest melanoma rates in the world with one person diagnosed every 30 minutes and one person dying every five hours from the disease.

The launch of the calculators comes amidst concerns the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused Australians to delay seeking checkups for melanoma and other cancers where early detection is vital for optimum outcomes.

Two of the calculators use patient information such as age, skin type, family history and sun exposure history to calculate individual lifetime risk of a person developing either their initial primary melanoma or a subsequent one. This information then guides discussions between the patient and the clinician about appropriate sun protection behaviours as well as the optimum schedule of skin checks to ensure early detection.

The third calculator predicts risk of disease having spread from a primary melanoma to nearby lymph nodes, and potentially metastasising to other vital organs. It takes into account additional clinical information about the primary melanoma as well as a patient’s age.

This calculator enables those deemed to be at low risk of disease spread to safely forgo surgery for a sentinel node biopsy. Conversely, it also detects patients at higher risk of disease spread, increasing potential for earlier identification of lymph node spread and activation of optimum treatment.

‘This calculator predicting risk of disease spread is particularly of benefit to older patients who are less likely to have melanoma spread to their lymph nodes, but who are at increased risk of complications that can come from additional surgery and general anaesthesia,’ added Professor Long AO.

The three web-based calculators can be accessed at www.melanomarisk.org.au

Australasian Melanoma Conference AMC2021
19 Nov - 20 Feb 2021

Australasian Melanoma Conference AMC2021

The 2021 Australasian Melanoma Conference (AMC2021) will held in Sydney, Australia.

Sharing our knowledge of melanoma on the global stage
15 Apr 2021

Sharing our knowledge of melanoma on the global stage

As leaders in the field of melanoma, clinicians and researchers from MIA will be sharing their knowledge at the virtual 10th World Congress of Melanoma. 

Tags: melanoma
Melanoma patients and their families urged to speak up and put national spotlight on melanoma.
15 Apr 2021

Melanoma patients and their families urged to speak up and put national spotlight on melanoma.

Melanoma patients and their carers are being urged to participate in a ground-breaking survey which will shape the future of melanoma treatment, research, support and funding in Australia.

Tags: melanoma
An inspiring WA Melanoma Community Forum
26 Mar 2021

An inspiring WA Melanoma Community Forum

There was a wonderful feeling of community support amongst the melanoma patients, families and friends at the WA Melanoma Community Form. 

Tags: melanoma
Family of 8-year-old with melanoma calls on all Australians to step up to help save lives
26 Mar 2021

Family of 8-year-old with melanoma calls on all Australians to step up to help save lives

The Price family has decided to share their story to inspire Australians to support research into new melanoma treatments.

Tags: melanoma
Rethinking skin surveillance for high-risk melanoma patients
18 Mar 2021

Rethinking skin surveillance for high-risk melanoma patients

New research has provided evidence in favour of a structured skin surveillance program for high-risk melanoma patients.

Tags: melanoma
Australia's oldest melanoma survivor steps up to save lives on his 105th birthday
11 Mar 2021

Australia's oldest melanoma survivor steps up to save lives on his 105th birthday

Melanoma research saved Bert's life at 101 and now he wants to give back. 

Tags: melanoma
Predicting disease spread in thin melanoma
05 Mar 2021

Predicting disease spread in thin melanoma

A new MIA online risk calculator for clinicians can determine the likelihood of thin melanoma spreading.   

Tags: melanoma
Exploring our own clinical questions through MIA's new trials initiative
04 Mar 2021

Exploring our own clinical questions through MIA's new trials initiative

MIA has recently established a new division of our Clinical Trials Program which co-ordinates and manages investigator-led multi-centre trials. 

Tags: melanoma
Young researchers awarded Fellowships to pursue innovative treatments for melanoma
04 Mar 2021

Young researchers awarded Fellowships to pursue innovative treatments for melanoma

Two young researchers from MIA and The University of Sydney awarded Cancer Institute NSW fellowships.

Tags: melanoma
Young researchers receive boost to develop innovative treatment for melanoma
04 Mar 2021

Young researchers receive boost to develop innovative treatment for melanoma

Two young researchers from MIA and The University of Sydney awarded Cancer Institute NSW fellowships.

Tags: melanoma
Launch of Melanoma March 2021
01 Mar 2021

Launch of Melanoma March 2021

Aussies urged to leave their footprint on melanoma as efforts step up to save lives from the disease.

Tags: melanoma
Olivia Vivian announced as MIA ambassador
12 Feb 2021

Olivia Vivian announced as MIA ambassador

Olivia is using her Ninja star power to shine a spotlight on melanoma prevention - in memory of her dad. 

Tags: melanoma
Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant treatment saving lives.
09 Feb 2021

Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant treatment saving lives.

Drug treatment before surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy, is being hailed as one of the biggest breakthroughs in melanoma treatment since the advent of immunotherapy.

Tags: melanoma
Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant therapy saving lives.
09 Feb 2021

Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant therapy saving lives.

Drug treatment before surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy, is being hailed as one of the biggest breakthroughs in melanoma treatment since the advent of immunotherapy.

Tags: melanoma
Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?
04 Feb 2021

Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?

New research, led by MIA, has revealed that cancer patients treated with immunotherapy are not at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection compared to other cancer patients.

Tags: melanoma
Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?
04 Feb 2021

Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?

New research, led by MIA, has revealed that cancer patients treated with immunotherapy are not at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection compared to other cancer patients.

Tags: melanoma
A message to all Australians from melanoma patient Stuart Taylor
16 Dec 2020

A message to all Australians from melanoma patient Stuart Taylor

Stuart has advanced melanoma which is not responding to treatment. He has shared his story on ABC's 7:30 in the hope that others can escape the same fate. 

Tags: melanoma
Olivia Vivian nominates MIA as Charity Partner on Channel 9's Celebrity Apprentice.
02 Dec 2020

Olivia Vivian nominates MIA as Charity Partner on Channel 9's Celebrity Apprentice.

A Ninja Warrior legend and Olympic gymnast, Olivia knows first hand the devastating impact of melanoma.

Tags: melanoma
It's 'Game On Mole' this summer!
01 Dec 2020

It's 'Game On Mole' this summer!

All Australians are urged to join the fight against melanoma this summer. 

Tags: melanoma