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A world-first blood and tissue skin cancer test trials start in Australia

Photo: Skin cancer test trials start in Australia
Australian researchers are hoping to develop a world-first blood and tissue test which could help identify the early signs of skin cancer.

Researchers are hoping to make a breakthrough in identifying the early signs of Australia's most common form of skin cancer but the test is years from going public.

Abnormal skin tissue and blood samples will be tested for early signs of melanoma as part of trials over the next 12 months, conducted by Melbourne company Geneseq Biosciences and Australian Clinical Labs.

The non-invasive blood test, Melaseq, is designed to detect the genetic fingerprint of active melanoma, a cancer which affects two million Aussies in their lifetime.
However those at risk of the disease still face a lengthy wait of up to several years until the still-experimental testing regime could prove helpful.

Of course, firstly, the testing needs to be proven effective and meet necessary guidelines.

Geneseq founder Ryan Van Laar told AAP there was no other solid tissue, blood or genetic detection tests available to identify early-stage skin cancer.

It was difficult to forecast the cost of the test but Dr Van Laar said it needed to be cheap and widely available.

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