Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Ron Walli (wallira@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: Melanoma detection instrument developed

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 17, 2006 — Preliminary results of an optical sensing technique for early detection of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are encouraging, according to developer Justin Baba of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

While traditional techniques involve cost-intensive physical examinations and often unnecessary tissue biopsies, this technique is non-invasive and would provide rapid and efficient early detection of skin cancer. A prototype version of the instrument, which utilizes multiple wavelengths of polarized light, was used to image nine consenting patients at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Researchers were evaluating the ability of the instrument to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous lesions. Data gathered during this recent trial will serve as the basis for a National Institutes of Health proposal for further instrumentation development and miniaturization of the device. Each year, melanoma accounts for about 7,600 deaths in the United States alone.

For more information about this story and other ORNL story tips, go to: http://www.ornl.gov/info/press_releases/story_tips.cfm.