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FINDING MELANOMA

ANCHOR LEAD:  A NEW TECHNIQUE USING HEAT DETECTION MAY HELP IDENTIFY MELANOMA, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Many people develop suspicious skin lesions that look like melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, and then must undergo biopsy.  Lots of these lesions turn out to be benign, so finding a way up front to assess whether a biopsy is even necessary is desirable.  Now researchers at Johns Hopkins may have found a way.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center, explains.

NELSON:  What I like about this study in particular is it involves an interaction between disciplines that don’t normally collaborate:  dermatologists and engineers.  What the engineers came up with is a special way to use laser optics to sort of take a picture of the heat generated by the pigmented lesion, and it turns out that worrisome lesions that have cells growing like cancers generate slightly more heat than other parts of the skin.              :25

The technique is currently under clinical investigation.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

 



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