Australians to access new ‘liquid biopsy’ blood test to diagnose melanoma

20 November 2016 (Last Updated November 20th, 2016 18:30)

Australians are soon set to access a new blood test called ‘liquid biopsy’ to diagnose melanoma.

Australians are soon set to access a new blood test called ‘liquid biopsy’ to diagnose melanoma.

The new blood test will be administered by the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) and speed up the diagnosis of melanoma.

The ‘liquid biopsy’ technology has the potential to provide the information related to melanoma that often requires a complex and invasive surgical biopsy.

The blood test can be performed at the ONJCRI within three days.

Based on the test, doctors will be able to tailor the suitable treatment possible for patients quickly and improve their chance of survival.

Revolutionising the future of melanoma diagnosis, the technology is expected to improve patient care and treatment and its accreditation is a vital step toward the routine use of liquid biopsies within cancer care in Victoria, Australia.

"The ‘liquid biopsy’ technology has the potential to provide the information related to melanoma that often requires a complex and invasive surgical biopsy."

Last year, 2,712 new melanoma diagnoses and 379 deaths in Victoria were reported from the disease.

Research into the new ‘liquid biopsy’ blood test has been supported through the Melbourne Melanoma Project.

The government’s Victorian Cancer Agency has invested A$160m ($117m) into translational cancer research and funded the new project.

The research has been designed to speed up the conversion of cancer research into clinical practice and new treatments that deliver better cancer care.

Jill Hennessy said: “We’re putting cancer patients first and investing in world leading cancer research and future technologies that have the power to save lives.”

“It will mean patients can get diagnosed and treated sooner, without having to endure long and anxious waits and invasive and painful surgery.”