Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center

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Melanoma surveillance developments advance goals for improved prognoses

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jonathan Zippen, M.D., Ph.D., discusses advances in melanoma surveillance

In this video from and HemOnc Today, Jonathan Zippin, M.D., Ph.D.assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses advances in melanoma surveillance — from methods already in-use to anticipated approaches.

He details the technique of dermoscopy, highlighting the “high level of accuracy” it offers clinicians in determining appropriate concern for pigmented legions. “This allows us to look underneath the skin … see changes in vessels and other architectural features.”

Confocal microscopy, mainly used in specialized clinics and academic centers, is poised to become a “mainstay technique” in the coming years. Zippin underscores its ability to harness “more optical information than is capable through dermoscopy.”

He also touches on technological developments on the molecular level including up-and-coming analyses of mRNA expression patterns, mutation signatures for comparison with known melanoma criteria.

“All this is designed to save a patient an unnecessary biopsy and/or diagnose melanoma at a very early stage,” Zippin said. “What’s well established is the earlier we find these melanoma and remove them, the better the prognosis.”