Skin Cancer Test Reduces Need for Surgery

Source: Yahoo! Finance, April 2020

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands and SAN DIEGO, April 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — SkylineDx in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic published yesterday its first study describing a diagnostic test that could reduce up to 42% of surgical interventions used to diagnose patients with melanoma (skin cancer). “Typically, when treating patients with melanoma, surgeons remove lymph node(s) to check for metastasis and determine the patient’s disease stage and best treatment strategy,” explains Alexander Meves, M.D., a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic Rochester (MN) and senior author. “However, studies have shown these surgeries do not consistently provide additional diagnostic information.” The diagnostic test being developed by SkylineDx and Mayo Clinic identifies patients who are at low risk of metastasis in their lymph nodes and will not benefit from surgical removal of their lymph nodes, the study finds. “These patients may therefore be able to forgo the procedure,” says Dr. Meves [2].

Dr. Meves adds that the performance of this diagnostic test has already been validated in an independent European dataset presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology conference in 2019, which confirmed the test’s ability to identify these specific patients [3]. The test calculates a patient’s risk of nodal metastasis on an individual basis through a combination analysis of 8 genes from the patient’s primary tumor, the tumor thickness and the patient’s age. Design of the test’s underlying algorithm, a biological assertion of the genes involved and the performance of the diagnostic test, have been published in an open access manuscript in the peer reviewed journal, JCO Precision Oncology [2].