- 25 July 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 25 JULY 2019, 1.00 PM
Auditorium, Level 6, Bancroft Building
High-risk primary melanoma: diagnosis, prognosis, quality of life
Professor Adèle Green,
Cancer and Population Studies
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
High-risk primary cutaneous melanomas are invasive cancers that are localized to the skin at diagnosis but are at risk of metastasizing despite apparently complete excision. They comprise 40% of all invasive melanomas diagnosed in Queensland. Our Primary Melanoma Project has followed a cohort of some 800 patients with high-risk primary melanomas in Queensland starting in 2010. We have shown that in Queensland, unlike in Europe and North America, GPs diagnose 80% of high-risk melanomas; that diagnostic excision practices vary widely, and sentinel node biopsy for prognostic information is performed in only a third of patients. 13% patients treated for high-risk primary melanomas experienced melanoma recurrence within 2 years, 30% with metastases to distant organs. When newly diagnosed, ~50% of these patients suffer from unmet supportive care needs, but this declines to ~20% after 6 months. Fear of melanoma recurrence persists in 22% who are disease-free, especially in younger people or those with anxiety or depression, flagging possible need for additional support.
Adèle Green is a Senior Scientist at QIMR Berghofer and Professor of Epidemiology, University of Manchester, UK. She trained in medicine, and her research career has focused on the causes, treatment and prevention of various cancers, especially melanoma and other skin cancer. She is Fellow of the Academy of Health & Medical Sciences, member of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, and of the Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. She also chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission and the Research and Data Advisory Group for Cancer Australia.