A Genomics Approach for Screening of Patients at High Risk of Melanoma

Queensland has the highest melanoma incidence and associated mortality rates in Australia and the world.

Queensland has the highest melanoma incidence and associated mortality rates in Australia and the world.

Melanoma incidence in Australia continues to increase, affecting more than 13,000 Australians every year. And Queensland has the highest melanoma incidence and associated mortality rates in Australia.

With recent identification of additional high-risk melanoma genes, the QGHA Melanoma Project will identify genetic high-risk patients by determining if they carry known melanoma-risk genes. Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly increase melanoma survival rates, and reduce health system costs.

A Genomics Approach for Screening of Patients at High Risk of Melanoma is a collaborative project led by Professor Peter Soyer, and involving clinicians and researchers from PA Hospital, UQ, QUT and QIMRB.

The melanoma research project will focus on the use of genomics in the prevention and early detection of melanoma. In conjunction with 3D total body photography of moles and birthmarks, the project will undertake genomic testing for people at high risk of melanoma which will determine the effectiveness of genomics to enable prevention and earlier detection.

This research will then be integrated into education for current and future clinicians to embed into clinical practice.

QGHA’s Melanoma Project has the potential to increase melanoma survival rates, and cut healthcare costs, by enabling early detection of new melanoma on genetic high-risk patients.

Project Investigators

Lead - Professor Peter Soyer, PAH and UQ
Professor Mark Smithers PAH
Assoc. Professor Victoria Atkinson, PAH
Assoc. Professor Richard Sturm, UQ
Dr Mitchell Stark, UQ
Assoc. Professor Helmut Schaider, UQ
Elizabeth Peach, UQ
Dr Erin McMeniman, UQ
Professor Nikolas Hass, UQ
Assoc. Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani, UQ
Dr Anna Finnane, UQ
Professor Monika Janda, QUT
Professor David Whiteman, QIMRB

 

    Objectives

    • Prevent melanoma and facilitate early detection and treatment
    • Progress knowledge of genetic changes associated with naevi morphology and melanoma to a point where recommendations can be made to the workforce
    • Conduct germline analysis of patients of high risk of melanoma
    • Develop protocols for target melanoma screening in high risk individuals and families
    • Build clinically focused research into the education of current and next generation health
    • professionals ensuring that our recommendations for change in practice are implemented.