In a recent study, researchers from Australia develop world first blood test that can detect melanoma.
This big breakthrough could save many lives.
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that is curable by surgical excision in most of cases, if detected at an early stage.
The disease is currently detected using a visual scan by a doctor, with areas of concern cut out surgically and biopsied.
To improve early stage melanoma detection, developing a highly sensitive diagnostic test is very important.
To achieve the goal, the researchers in the study identified antibodies to a panel of tumor associated antigens that can differentiate primary melanoma patients and healthy individuals.
They examined a total of 245 sera from primary melanoma patients and healthy volunteers.
All the participants were screened against a high-throughput microarray platform containing 1627 functional proteins.
Following rigorous statistical analysis, the team identified a combination of 10 autoantibody biomarkers that displays a sensitivity of 79% and specificity of 84% for primary melanoma detection.
This means the new test could detect early stage melanoma quite accurately.
The researchers suggest that this melanoma autoantibody signature may help the development of a diagnostic blood test for routine melanoma screening.
The blood test, when used in conjunction with current melanoma diagnostic techniques, could improve the early diagnosis of this skin cancer and decrease death risk.
The authors warn that this test does not detect other types of less deadly, but more common, skin cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma.
The lead researcher is Pauline Zaenker from Edith Cowan University.
The research is published in the journal Oncotarget.
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