Scientists in Britain have announced that they have developed a new test for melanoma, the first that can reliably predict the spread or return of this most deadly form of skin cancer.
The test is based on advances in understanding the biological mechanism of melanoma.
Researchers at the University of Newcastle and the AMLo Biosciences company, headed by Professor Penny Lovat, which made the relevant publication in the British Journal of Dermatology “British Journal of Dermatology”, pointed out that the pioneering test can reassure patients diagnosed with early-stage melanoma, that they have a low risk of disease metastasis or recurrence in the future.
The AMBLor test is applied to a sample of skin taken for a biopsy of non-ulcerative melanoma. (about the 75% all new melanoma) and can assess the actual risk of the cancer spreading to the patient's body. Early stage melanoma that is at risk of spreading, secretes the transforming factor TGFβ2 which causes the reduction of AMBRA1 proteins, Loricrin and Claudin-1, something that is detected by the test.
“The test gives us a more personalized prognosis, as it accurately predicts whether skin cancer is unlikely to spread. This test will help doctors identify low-risk patients diagnosed with early-stage melanoma and thus reduce the number of follow-up medical visits., saving time and money for the National Health System”, said Dr. Lovat.
The incidence of melanoma is increasing worldwide, with more than 96.000 people in the US and 16.000 in Britain to be diagnosed each year with this dangerous skin cancer. So far, the primary melanoma tumors have been surgically removed and then biopsied under a microscope., in order to determine the stage of the cancer and the risk of metastasis. Even when considered low risk, a patient should be monitored regularly for the next few years and these are exactly the patients, which the new test detects after further laboratory analysis of the biopsy sample.