Diamantina Institute, University of Queensland
A diagnostic centre set to revolutionise the early detection of melanoma will be established with a $9.9 million Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) grant. The rollout of 15 three dimensional total body imaging systems across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will significantly enhance the capability and capacity of clinicians and researchers to detect and understand melanoma.
The 3D imaging system takes a total body image in milliseconds, giving dermatologists the ability to detect skin cancers in a patient even from the other side of the country, through a telemedicine network. This will greatly reduce appointment times and healthcare costs, as melanoma is Australia’s ‘national cancer’.
The University of Queensland will lead the establishment of the ACRF Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis at UQ’s Diamantina Institute.
UQ Dermatology Research Centre Director Professor H. Peter Soyer said the centre would combine cutting-edge 3D imaging technology with a telemedicine network.
“Melanoma is Australia’s ‘national cancer’, with Australians experiencing 12 times the global incidence, and it is the most common cancer in Australians aged 15 to 40,” Professor Soyer said.
“Early detection is the key to saving lives and to achieving our vision of a world without melanoma”.
Australian Cancer Research Foundation CEO Professor Ian Brown said the grant would greatly boost melanoma research capability in Australia.
“ACRF Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis will advance early detection, thereby tackling the significant national burden of melanoma.” Professor Brown said.
“By providing 15 three-dimensional whole-body imaging machines positioned in capital and regional centres across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria (with the potential to expand the network Australia-wide), linked with innovative telemedicine capabilities, this bold project will enhance the capacity to improve the early detection of melanoma and save lives.”
It is estimated each of the 15 imaging machine will be able to provide 3,000 examinations each year, resulting in approximately 100,000 digital profiles from all systems within three years.
This large data set will add to the capacity of the centre to inform other clinical studies, including the computation of artificial intelligence algorithms to assist clinical decision making.
The Centre is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, the University of Sydney and Monash University, together with state-based research and health system partners.
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