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

MIA leads the world-first study that finds anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab increases the survival of patients
20 Apr 2015

MIA leads the world-first study that finds anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab increases the survival of patients

This is a landmark study, the first in a class of drugs that will change the future of treatment for all cancers. 

Anti-PD1 immunotherapy pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) has been registered by the TGA
20 Apr 2015

Anti-PD1 immunotherapy pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA® ) has been registered by the TGA

Australia is the first country in the world to register anti-PD1 for the first line treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma in adults.

MIA's Autumn Newsletter
12 Apr 2015

MIA's Autumn Newsletter

Our Autumn newsletter has been published and we have our digital version online now. 

Professor John Thompson appointed to Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
31 Mar 2015

Professor John Thompson appointed to Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

Professor John Thompson, Executive Director at Melanoma Institute Australia, was one of 116 fellows appointed to the new Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences at a ceremony in Canberra on the 25th March.

Melanoma Institute part of $14m melanoma project grant
25 Mar 2015

Melanoma Institute part of $14m melanoma project grant

Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Sussan Ley, announced more than $14 million in funding for a research program to study the molecular determinants of risk, progression and treatment response in melanoma.

Melanoma March Bibs
19 Mar 2015

Melanoma March Bibs

If you would like to download a bib for your Melanoma March, we have a selection for you to choose from, print and bring along with you on the day. 

Manly Melanoma March
17 Mar 2015

Manly Melanoma March

Manly Melanoma March has changed to a new location. 

Q&A with Melanoma March Fundraisers
10 Mar 2015

Q&A with Melanoma March Fundraisers

We did a short Q&A with two sisters who are raising funds for Melanoma March after sadly losing their mother in 2009. This is their second march and they have shared with us their fundraising tips. 

Research Director Graham Mann explains where Melanoma March funds are going
10 Mar 2015

Research Director Graham Mann explains where Melanoma March funds are going

We want to share with you what your valuable Melanoma March donation and fundraising goes towards and our Research Director, Graham Mann explains the national research project the funds will be going towards.

First patient recruited to the EAGLE FM Trial
09 Mar 2015

First patient recruited to the EAGLE FM Trial

Evaluation of Groin Lymphadenectomy Extent for Metastatic Melanoma (EAGLE FM) clinical trial has recruited its first patient.  

Online Comments to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee
09 Feb 2015

Online Comments to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee

You are invited to provide comments for consideration by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). The PBAC will consider the registration of the anti-PD1 drug, Keytruda (pembrolizumab) at the next meeting in March.

A man of commitment
06 Feb 2015

A man of commitment

Melanoma patient Joel Allsop was congratulated today on completing his participation in the international surgical clinical trial, known as MSLT-II. He was the first person in the world to complete the 10 years of follow-up for this trial. 

Melanoma March has officially launched
05 Feb 2015

Melanoma March has officially launched

Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has officially launched the 2015 ‘Melanoma March’ initiative in Melbourne. 

Melanoma March is around the corner
02 Feb 2015

Melanoma March is around the corner

Help us march towards a cure for melanoma research. See where your local march is and how you can get involved.

Q&A with a PhD student
28 Jan 2015

Q&A with a PhD student

Under the leadership of world-leading melanoma pathologist Prof Richard Scolyer and medical oncologist A/Prof Georgina Long, third year PhD student, Hojabr Kakavand, is at the forefront of melanoma research. 

ClinTrial Refer Melanoma App
22 Jan 2015

ClinTrial Refer Melanoma App

Melanoma Institute Australia has launched a new smartphone app called ClinTrial Refer Melanoma to help busy clinicians find clinical trials for their melanoma patients.

Interview on the latest melanoma treatments
08 Jan 2015

Interview on the latest melanoma treatments

MIA's Associate Professor Georgina Long and stage 4 melanoma patient, Maria, were recently interviewed by ABC Weekend Breakfast about the latest in clincial trials and melanoma treatments.

Sunbed campaigner acknowledged as one of most influential Australians
17 Dec 2014

Sunbed campaigner acknowledged as one of most influential Australians

Sunbed campaigner, Jay Allen, has been acknowledged on the honour roll of Australia’s most influential people in the non-profit sector.

A world-class organisation needs a world-class website
03 Dec 2014

A world-class organisation needs a world-class website

Today we launch the website we’ve dreamed about!