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Melanoma

This is one of the main types of skin cancer and arises from the pigment-producing skin cells (melanocytes), which also form benign (non-cancerous) growths called moles.  In Australia, melanoma is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women, and the most common cancer in Australians aged 15-39 years. The incidence of melanoma in Australia continues to increase, and currently more than 12,500 Australians are affected each year. Early detection of melanoma is particularly important for health outcomes, as the cancer has the capacity to metastasize and spread to other parts of the body if diagnosed at a late stage. The Melanoma research stream has a broad focus ranging from discovery research to clinical intervention. It includes early diagnosis; elucidating melanoma biology as well as skin moles that might change into melanoma; determining causes of treatment resistance; analysing genetic susceptibility; examining genomics and molecular pathways; and optimising patterns of care and outcomes.

There is a strong association with the Queensland Melanoma Collaborative which has linked key clinicians and scientists working on melanoma within Queensland.

Research in this stream will impact directly on reducing the significant burden melanoma places on patients, the community and the health care system.

Stream Leaders

Professor B. Mark Smithers

Mayne Professor, Head, Discipline of Surgery, School of Medicine, UQ
Director, Upper Gastro-intestinal and Soft Tissue Unit, PAH
Chairman, Queensland Melanoma Project
Medical Director, Melanoma Patients Australia

Associate Professor Euan Walpole

Medical Director, Division of Cancer Services, PAH
Cancer Stream Leader, Metro South Health
Senior Specialist in Medical Oncology

Stream Team

Dr Erin McMeniman

Senior lecturer, University of Queensland Medical School
Consultant Dermatologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital
Consultant Dermatologist, Central Brisbane Dermatology
Clinical researcher, PhD scholar, Dermatology Research centre, Diamantina Institute, University of Queensland.
Committee member, Academic Research Committee, Australasian College of Dermatology