Core 2 aims to optimise the management of people with curable, early stage melanoma. The key projects are: 1) to increase the proportion of early-stage melanoma patients that receive appropriate staging and surgical management, 2) to identify and address the barriers and enablers of adequate staging and surgical treatment of melanoma in patients, 3) to increase the accuracy of prognosis for these patients by using molecular signature assays and finally prospectively implement and test these assays.
Who receives appropriate staging and surgical management for early-stage melanoma and why?
Optimum treatment for melanoma, whether surgery, radiation or drug-based, depends on adequate assessment of the risk that the melanoma has already spread to nearby lymph nodes. This project is examining the factors influencing doctors' and patients' decision to have, or not have a sentinel lymph node biopsy and developing strategies to ensure the procedure is used to greatest benefit.
How should biomarker tests be used to assess the risk of relapse after surgical treatment?
In melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes the long-term outcome is very uncertain. Molecular diagnostic tests have great potential to help clarify this risk, and therefore to guide further treatment and maximise cures. Such biomarker tests have been developed and this project is working to establish what value they could add in practice, and how they should be implemented.