Vital Melanoma Research opportunity

Vital Melanoma Research opportunity

In the biggest melanoma study of its kind, Orange is co-hosting a multi-million dollar research project targeting one of Australia’s most commonly diagnosed cancers.

Dr Michelle McRae, of Pinnacle Dermatology, first expressed her interest in the project in 2020, but delays from COVID paused work on the melanoma imaging and diagnosis scheme until now.

“Melanoma can happen to any skin type, not just Caucasian. But we know the risk factors are greater in blue-eyed, fair skin people and those who have a red-head gene,” she said.

Next generation diagnosis

The work is being funded by the Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis (ACEMID), via framework established in 2019 through an initial $10 million grant provided by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

There are 15x sites taking part in the project, and each one will have capacity for up to 1000 people to take part in the study. The 3D Total Body Imaging Systems will be located across metropolitan and regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

“We thought this was a really good project for Pinnacle Dermatology as it’s important to provide everyone outside of the city in NSW to have access,” Dr McRae said.

Priority data for outcomes research

In 2022 a five-point strategy was outlined to achieve zero deaths from melanoma by 2030 in a campaign titled “World without Melanoma”.

Melanoma is Australia’s national cancer, due to a high UV-radiation environment and susceptible population.

“Melanoma makes up about five per cent of all skin cancers in Australia, however its effects are quite devastating,” Dr McRae said.

Anyone over the age of 18 who is able to stand up in the machine is eligible to take part free of cost, and patients are required to sign consent forms and be available for six-month and yearly check-ups.

The initial visit takes approximately 1.5 hours and is where a 3D avatar of the participant is created to detect any lesions around their body.

“If a lesion is found, the person will get a report in the following weeks detailing the areas of concern. They can choose to have a biopsy at the clinic if they have no other access, or have it done by whoever they normally see,” Dr McRae said.

While this is not an all-inclusive skin check, if something of concern is detected by the research of Fellow Dr Sameer Datwani then he would bring it to the clinic’s attention.

The study is being led by the University of Queensland in collaboration with Monash and Sydney Universities with a world-class team of experts and partners. The results will be closely linked with international skin-imaging organisations to develop technology, technical and imaging standards.

Volunteer today

Those wishing to take part in the trials can book by contacting Pinnacle Dermatology at 272 Anson Street, Orange or by phoning 6398 7733.

Contact Pinnacle Dermatology


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Diana Smith

I'm an Orange-based photographer, writer, face painter and book designer. I enjoy meeting the lovely folk of our community and have been involved in publishing/media/comms for about 15 years. I have done several exhibitions and in 2022 published my own childrens story, 'The Mouses Houses.'

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