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World-first 3D Imaging for Melanoma Detection

Image Credits: University of Queensland, Press Release

Queenslanders could have skin cancer diagnosed earlier using world-first 3D scanning technology with the launch of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis.

University of Queensland Dermatologist Professor H. Peter Soyer said the technology enables researchers to track moles and skin spots over time using full-body mapping, making it a game-changer for melanoma detection.

This technology is revolutionising early melanoma detection using 3D state-of-the-art body imaging systems that take an image in milliseconds, Professor Soyer said. The telemedicine network allows dermatologists and medical professionals to detect skin cancers remotely, even from the other side of the country.

For the first time, medical researchers can access a national database of up to 100,000 patient images taken by 3D full-body imaging systems located in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, as part of the world’s largest melanoma imaging trial, which aims to develop more efficient and effective screening for the early detection of skin cancer.

Using algorithms created by artificial intelligence, the 3D imaging systems are able to analyse the images and produce a full-body skin spot map, which transforms the way we will monitor patients in the future.

Australia has the highest rates of melanoma in the world with an average of 28,000 Australians diagnosed with the disease every year. ACRF Chief Executive Officer Kerry Strydom said the Australian Cancer Research Foundation backed the best in research and cutting-edge technology to drive innovation and help create the new Centre. Melanoma is a deadly problem that needs disruptive solutions, and ACRF is proud to be involved in delivering revolutionary research through this pioneering program, Mr Strydom said.

The project brings together three leading Australian universities in skin research, UQ, The University of Sydney and Melbourne’s Monash University, to form the interconnected Centre of Excellence in Diagnostic Imaging of Early Melanoma.

Queenslanders can sign up to be part of the world’s largest melanoma imaging trial using the 3D full-body imaging system located at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital. The 3D technology is expected to be rolled out to five other regions across Queensland.

Global cancer/tumour profiling market size is projected to reach US$13.9 billion by 2025 from US$8.3 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period. The increasing incidence of cancer across the globe and the growing use of biomarkers in tumour profiling are the primary growth drivers for this market. In addition, the increase in cancer research and funding initiatives and technological advancements in profiling technologies are also propelling the growth of the cancer/tumour profiling market.

Additionally, the increasing demand for personalised medicine and the growing need for point-of-care diagnostics is expected to offer significant growth opportunities for market players during the forecast period. On the other hand, the high capital investment required for biomarker discovery and the technical issues with sample collection and storage is the key factors restraining market growth to a certain extent.

The cancer/tumour profiling market is not expected to be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a significant drop in cancer testing and diagnosis due to measures and resources implemented towards coronavirus. However, several patients affected with COVID-19 were people with malignancies, due to which cancer has been identified as a risk factor for COVID-19. Research in this area is further undertaken to understand the dynamics of the infection better, which is expected to propel the cancer research field further.

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