About the study
The MELSELF study aims to investigate whether self-skin checks and teledermatology, may lead to earlier diagnosis of melanomas and other skin cancers.
Many melanomas are found by patients or their family members between doctor’s visits and even more might be detected if patients and their partners were trained in the best way to do total body skin self-examination, with fast access to a dermatologist’s opinion on anything found.
We will study the use of teledermatology. This involves a device attached to a smartphone to take close up photographs of the skin, sending them to a dermatologist through an app, and receiving the dermatologist report through the app. We aim to find out whether teledermatology may lead to earlier diagnosis of melanomas and other skin cancers.
The MELSELF project is a NHMRC funded randomized controlled trial that is sponsored by the University of Sydney. We aim to recruit 600 people, who have been previously treated for a localised melanoma from participating melanoma treatment centres in Sydney and Newcastle.
Participants are randomly assigned to one of the two study groups, a ‘smartphone supported self-skin checks’ group or a ‘usual clinician care’ group.
During the study, all participants will complete questionnaires and receive educational booklets.
Australia has over 17,500 new melanoma diagnoses every year and this number continues to rise. People diagnosed with a melanoma are at risk of developing a recurrent or new primary melanoma, and are recommended to visit their doctor at regular intervals every 3 to 12 months for skin checks. New smartphone technologies may improve on this by allowing patients to detect new melanoma themselves, and get it treated earlier than if they’d waited for their regular skin check by their doctor.
The MELSELF study aims to find out if smartphone support for patient self-skin checks, together with teledermatology:
This study is funded through a 4-year National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant and has undergone scientific peer review as part of the NHMRC funding process.
The study has been endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group (ANZMTG; 04.17), which includes a scientific and consumer review process. This study is also registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry
Can patient-led surveillance detect subsequent new primary or recurrent melanomas and reduce the need for routinely scheduled follow up? Statistical analysis plan for the MEL-SELF randomised controlled trial.
Can patient-led surveillance detect subsequent new primary or recurrent melanomas and reduce the need for routinely scheduled follow up? A protocol for the MELSELF randomised controlled trial. (pdf, 2.2mb)
Research trial showing promising signs of improving early detection - ABC News
Chief and Associate Investigators: