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First melanoma test to offer reassurance of low risk of cancer spread

A pioneering test which reliably predicts the spread or return of the most deadly form of skin cancer has been developed by a team of Newcastle scientists and clinicians.

14 January 2022

The technological advance came as they made a scientific breakthrough in understanding the mechanism of skin cancer growth.

Led by Professor Penny Lovat at Newcastle University, UK, in association with the University spin out company AMLo Biosciences, the test offers reassurance for patients diagnosed with an early stage melanoma.

By applying the test - called AMBLor® - to the standard biopsy of the primary melanoma on its removal, patients who are at low risk of the disease reoccurring or spreading can be identified.

With the support of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to develop the provision and working with AMLo Biosciences, a referral service is now available where sections from a patient’s melanoma can be posted to a lab for analysis.

The test identifies a patient’s true risk of disease progression and provides anyone diagnosed with a non-ulcerated early stage melanoma - accounting for around 75% of all new diagnoses - more accurate information about the risk of the disease spreading.

Now the scientists have demonstrated the mechanism in the skin which underpins the test, publishing the research in the British Journal of Dermatology.

The development of the AMBLor test can alleviate stress and anxiety for patients caused by this potentially deadly skin cancer, whilst increasing efficiency and reducing costs to the NHS.

Phil Brady, Chief Operating Officer, British Skin Foundation

AMLo Biosicences

AMLo Biosciences is a spin out company from the University. We have an excellent track record for producing spin-out companies from applied research and play a significant role in the development of new products and services.

Our Spin out companies also contribute to the development and vitality of the region through new jobs and revenue creation

AMLo Biosciences is based at The Biosphere (pictured), a purpose-built home for life science start-ups and SMEs. The Biosphere is part of the Newcastle Helix innovation district.

The Biosphere at Newcastle Helix