First Blood Test for Melanoma

The first blood test to detect melanoma skin cancer in its early stages has been created by Australian researchers.

The most deadly form of skin cancer can spread quickly, so early detection is crucial. Doctors currently rely on skin examinations and biopsies to detect the cancer. The researchers said their blood test could save many lives, BBC News reported.

The blood test was assessed in a trial with about 200 people, half of whom had melanoma. The test proved 81.5 percent successful. The study was published in the journal Oncotarget.

Clinical trials of the blood test will be conducted within three years in an effort to improve its accuracy to 90 percent, and the researchers hope it could be available for use within five years, BBC News reported.

The blood test does not detect other types of skin cancers and people will still have to keep checking their skin for signs of melanoma, experts say.

Melanoma is the cause of most skin cancer-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

MedicalNews
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