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Bringing better skin health to all

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Imagine the impact you could have in reducing rates of skin cancer if you could establish 15 VECTRA 360 3D Whole Body Imaging Systems in three states – that's the job ahead of Professor Monika Janda from the University of Queensland's Dermatology Research Centre.

As the research director of the Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis (ACEMID) research project, Prof Janda's focus, and that of the project, is the transformation of early detection measures for melanoma through the validation and eventual rollout of imaging systems to reduce the burden skin cancers place on patients, their families and the healthcare system.

"ACEMID aims to develop more efficient and effective screening for the early detection of melanoma through the provision of an innovative 3D total body photography imaging system," Prof Janda said.

"The system produces a total body 3D avatar that enables clinicians and researchers to more accurately monitor skin spots over time."

"My research has aimed to improve the prevention and early detection of melanoma. With rates of skin cancer continuing to increase, new early detection services are more important than ever before.

Currently, Prof Janda and the ACEMID team are undertaking a three-year study of skin lesions in volunteer participants using the VECTRA 3D Total body imaging systems, which were funded in part by the PA Research Foundation.

Ultimately once the study is completed and the VECTRA 3D Imaging Systems are validated as a means for early detection the ACEMID team hopes it will become an accepted and commonly used service for melanoma identification.

"ACEMID will operate via an integrated telemedicine network, which will link urban, regional and rural hospitals and centres, to deliver 15 3D total body photography imaging machines across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria," Prof Janda said.

"The imaging machines are especially beneficial to people in rural and remote areas to expand their access to specialised dermatological skin cancer screening services.

"In the next five years, we will have completed our cohort study, shared our findings and our plan is for the VECTRA 3D Imaging Systems to remain as an established, clinical service for skin cancer screening."

Though ACEMID is funded by the Australia Cancer Research Fund, Professor Janda said PA Research Foundation had also played a crucial role in the formative stages of the project and if she had a chance to meet with any PARF donors she would simply say thank you on behalf of patients who will benefit from research like hers, while adding there are others ways to help researchers like her advance their work.

"Funding from the PA Research Foundation has assisted us to purchase the infrastructure required for the total body 3D imaging systems and to conduct our cohort study," she said.

"There are many ways you can support medical research. We appreciate our participants who donate their time to medical research. High quality research relies on generous individuals in the community willing to take part.

"Thank you to anyone who has donated. By supporting medical research, you are helping to advance medical knowledge and improve patient care."

Donate to support the vital work of the University of Queensland's Dermatology Research Centre here.