Conducted by Professor H. Peter Soyer (UQ DRC), Professor Brian Gabrielli (UQ DI) and Dr Sandra Pavey (UQ DI) in collaboration with Associate Professor Richard Sturm (UQ DRC), Associate Professor Helmut Schaider (UQ DRC), Associate Professor Nikolas Haass (UQ DI), Professor B Mark Smithers (PAH Melanoma Unit) and Dr Duncan Lambie (Adjunct Senior Fellow, UQ DI)

Aim of the study: To validate potential novel bio-markers unique to various phenotypically characterized naevi and stages of melanoma progression. We will use the combined techniques of dermoscopy, reflectance confocal microscopy, IHC, microarray, and sequencing data to define which changes in the naevus appearance observed by in situ imaging on the patient are directly related to which genetic alterations; and how these predict for progression to melanoma.

Description: Suspicious melanocytic tissue samples will be assessed and characterized using dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy prior to being excised. Excised melanocytic lesions will then be processed for routine histopathology, and will initially be examined by a pathologist for clinical evaluation. The remaining tissue material will then be available for biochemical analysis (IHC, Microarray and sequencing).  We may also access previously characterised tissue samples from fixed tissue/ fresh frozen tissue banks.  We aim to collect a total of 500 equivocal melanocytic proliferations and melanoma tissues over the course of the study.

Status:  Ongoing longitudinal study in progress. 55 patients have been recruited and 77 lesions have been collected. Analysis has started on the tissue collected to date, with a gene signature being identified that is associated with the transformation of naevus to melanoma.

Project members

Professor Peter Soyer

MRFF-NG Practitioner Fellow
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

Associate Professor Rick Sturm

Affiliate Associate Professor
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Principal Research Fellow
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

Associate Professor Helmut Schaider

Associate Professor Dermatology
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Course Coordinator
Primary Care Clinical Unit