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

5 Minutes With Prof Richard Scolyer
21 Oct 2016

5 Minutes With Prof Richard Scolyer

Professor Richard Scolyer will be sharing his expertise on melanoma pathology at the upcoming Australasian Melanoma Conference. Here he discusses what he'll be presenting on. 

Research spotlight: High Risk Clinic
10 Oct 2016

Research spotlight: High Risk Clinic

Researchers at MIA have established a High Risk Clinic to monitor people at very high risk of developing melanoma.

Learning from the best in the world
05 Oct 2016

Learning from the best in the world

A generous donation has enabled a medical oncologist from Portugal to learn from the best in the world at MIA.

Uniting the world for a cure
30 Sep 2016

Uniting the world for a cure

MIA is hosting a conference to bring together greats minds in melanoma research that will make a difference to the lives of melanoma patients

A Day in the Life of... Michelle Peranec
30 Sep 2016

A Day in the Life of... Michelle Peranec

Meet Michelle, our Translational Research Officer whose role is to connect the clinics to the lab by ensuring patient blood and tissue samples are documented and carefully stored in our BioSpecimen Bank.

Wildfire Award helps ignite new melanoma research
08 Sep 2016

Wildfire Award helps ignite new melanoma research

Dr James Wilmott says his Wildfire Award will help expand research into treatment options for people with mucosal melanoma, a rare but deadly form of skin cancer.

Opinion: Fighting the Resistance
25 Aug 2016

Opinion: Fighting the Resistance

Following the recent hype around immunotherapies in cancer, CEO Carole Renouf shares the greatest story never told… resistance… and what MIA is doing to address it.

5 Minutes With A/Prof Jennifer Wargo
11 Aug 2016

5 Minutes With A/Prof Jennifer Wargo

A/Prof Wargo discusses the research she will be presenting as a keynote speaker at the upcoming Australasian Melanoma Conference.

Dr James Wilmott awarded for outstanding cancer research
06 Aug 2016

Dr James Wilmott awarded for outstanding cancer research

Dr James Wilmott has been awarded the Wildfire award at this year's Cancer Institute NSW's Premier Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.

Community invests in MIA's new trial
19 Jul 2016

Community invests in MIA's new trial

The community has responded generously to our recent appeal to fund a specialised nursing position in an exciting new clinical trial. 

New trial giving options
18 Jul 2016

New trial giving options

We have developed a unique clinical trial that will use existing drugs to target rare genes in melanoma patients.

Melanoma research summary from ASCO
07 Jul 2016

Melanoma research summary from ASCO

Data presented at the recent ASCO Annual Meeting showcased advances in melanoma research, particularly long-term survival data.

Our Privacy Policy has been updated
06 Jul 2016

Updated privacy policy

We value your privacy and want you to be familiar with how we collect, use and disclose your information.

Can cognitive technology assist with melanoma identification?
29 Jun 2016

Can cognitive technology assist with melanoma identification?

Melanoma Institute Australia has partnered with IBM Research in Australia to help further advance melanoma identification using cognitive technology.

'4 Questions With...' Series
24 Jun 2016

'4 Questions With...' Series

CEO Carole Renouf chats to senior clinicians and researchers as part of our "4 Questions With..." short video series. 

Stop the Spread campaign shortlisted
22 Jun 2016

Stop the Spread campaign shortlisted

MIA's 'Stop the Spread' campaign has been shortlisted in the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma: the hidden skin cancer
22 Jun 2016

Merkel Cell Carcinoma: the hidden skin cancer

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare but aggressive skin cancer that is often hard to diagnose.

A meeting of the minds
02 Jun 2016

A meeting of the minds

MIA's doctors are converging on Chicago this week along with 40,000 delegates from around the globe at the biggest oncology conference in the world.

MIA's Dermatology services expanded
27 May 2016

MIA's Dermatology services expanded

We are pleased to announce a recent expansion to the dermatology services at Melanoma Institute Australia.

5 Minutes with Maria Gonzalez
20 May 2016

5 Minutes with Maria Gonzalez

This International Clinical Trials Day we reflect on the importance of clinical trials and the people who dedicate their lives to helping melanoma patients today and in the future.