Melanoma blood test could detect skin cancer early

Australian scientists have developed the world’s first blood test to detect melanoma in its early stages.

Currently, doctors rely on skin examinations and biopsies to detect melanoma, which can spread quickly. The blood test, which is currently undergoing further research, is designed to make it easier to detect the skin cancer before it becomes fatal. 

Developed by scientists at Edith Cowan University, the test picks up melanoma by recognising auto-antibodies produced by the body to combat the cancer's early growth.

Early trials of the test involving 209 people showed it was capable of picking up early stage melanoma in 81.5 per cent of cases.

It will now undergo clinical trials, to take place within 3 years, in a bid to improve its accuracy to 90%. Researchers hope it could be approved for use within 5 years.

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Melanoma blood test: Scientists unveil 'world-first' research BBC News