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

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the Society for Melanoma Research
26 Oct 2018

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the Society for Melanoma Research

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the world’s most prestigious international melanoma research association.

Patients to benefit from updated skin tumour publications
26 Oct 2018

Patients to benefit from updated skin tumour publications

Two publications co-edited by MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer are now available to healthcare professionals. They aim to provide assistance in the care and management of patients with skin cancer, including melanoma.

SunSafe Student Ambassador Program
25 Oct 2018

SunSafe Student Ambassador Program

Melanoma Institute Australia has introduced a new educational program to teach teenagers about the dangers of melanoma and the importance of sun safety. 

International collaboration the key to increasing survival
24 Oct 2018

International collaboration the key to increasing survival

"International collaboration remains the key to ensuring this pioneering research continues so we can increase survival rates for advanced melanoma patients and move us closer to achieving our goal of zero deaths from melanoma," says Professor Georgina Long, of the clinical trial results presented at ESMO 2018.

High-risk Stage III melanoma patients to benefit from Australia/Netherlands collaboration
23 Oct 2018

High-risk Stage III melanoma patients to benefit from Australia/Netherlands collaboration

Research that could change clinical practice for high-risk Stage III melanoma patients has been presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Munich.

Monthly dose of immunotherapy allows flexibility for patients undergoing treatment
11 Oct 2018

Monthly dose of immunotherapy allows flexibility for patients undergoing treatment

A larger, monthly dose of immunotherapy can give melanoma patients more freedom without sacrificing effectiveness.

Australia's best minds in melanoma research converge on Melbourne
08 Oct 2018

Australia's best minds in melanoma research converge on Melbourne

The Australasian Melanoma Conference, hosted by the Australasian Melanoma Conference Committee, was held in Melbourne on the weekend, with many of MIA's clinicians in attendance.

Nobel Prize for novel cancer therapies
04 Oct 2018

Nobel Prize for novel cancer therapies

The two men who discovered checkpoint inhibitors, the brakes of the immune system, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday, October 1.

World Health Organisation launches 4th edition of Classification of Skin Tumours
31 Aug 2018

World Health Organisation launches 4th edition of Classification of Skin Tumours

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is releasing the 4th edition of Classification of Skin Tumours.

Professor John Thompson awarded prestigious 2018 RPA Foundation Research Medal
31 Aug 2018

Professor John Thompson awarded prestigious 2018 RPA Foundation Research Medal

Former Executive Director of Melanoma Institute Australia Professor John Thompson awarded the prestigious 2018 RPA Foundation Research Medal.

Support PBS listing for pembrolizumab
23 Aug 2018

Support PBS listing for pembrolizumab

Clinicians, patients and other stakeholders in the cancer community are invited to make submissions in support of the PBS listing for pembrolizumab.

World Congress on Cancers of the Skin 2018
17 Aug 2018

World Congress on Cancers of the Skin 2018

The World Congress on Cancers of the Skin 2018 has featured many minds from MIA sharing their expertise and wealth of knowledge with over 1000 attendees from around the world.

Melanoma Institute Australia welcomes new CEO Matthew Browne
09 Aug 2018

Melanoma Institute Australia welcomes new CEO Matthew Browne

Melanoma Institute Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Browne as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Melanoma in Practice: Nurse Conference
26 Jul 2018

Melanoma in Practice: Nurse Conference

It was a full house this week at Melanoma Institute Australia thanks to our ‘Melanoma in Practice: Nurse Conference’. 

Reducing the risk of melanoma in young adults
19 Jul 2018

Reducing the risk of melanoma in young adults

A new study from The University of Sydney shows that sunscreen reduces melanoma risk by 40 per cent when used from a young age.

Melanoma Institute Australia launches free e-learning education portal
20 Jun 2018

Melanoma Institute Australia launches free e-learning education portal

Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has launched a free e-learning portal to educate healthcare professionals about the latest advances in melanoma diagnosis and treatment.

David Day and a lifetime of missed moments
08 Jun 2018

David Day and a lifetime of missed moments

When David lost his life last year, he was 33, with three daughters under six.

Australian melanoma experts share latest breakthroughs with world's best oncologists
06 Jun 2018

Australian melanoma experts share latest breakthroughs with world's best oncologists

ASCO 2018 brings together the world's best in oncology from around the world. 

ASCO 2018 – the important role of clinical trials
06 Jun 2018

ASCO 2018 – the important role of clinical trials

Clinical trials are just that – trials in a clinical setting to evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of individual and combination treatments.

MIA Scoops Awards at the International Academy of Pathology
04 Jun 2018

MIA Scoops Awards at the International Academy of Pathology

Melanoma Institute Australia scooped the award pool at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Academy of Pathology.