Comparison of Diagnostic and Biopsy/Referral Sensitivity to Melanoma Between Dermatologists and MelaFind: A Pilot Survey Study

September 2011 | Volume 10 | Issue 9 | Feature | 1078 | Copyright © 2011

Ryan Wells MD

Abstract

This edition of Resident Spotlight features a winner from the Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic & Clinical (ODAC) conference Second Annual ARTE Poster Competition.

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INTRODUCTION

This edition of Resident Spotlight features Dr. Ryan Wells' winning poster, "Comparison of Diagnostic and Biopsy/Referral Sensitivity to Melanoma Between Dermatologists and MelaFind: A Pilot Survey Study" from the Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic & Clinical (ODAC) conference's Second Annual Advanced Resident Training & Education (ARTE) poster competition.

ABSTRACT

Malignant Melanoma (MM) is one of the most dangerous entities encountered by dermatologists. Unfortunately, while dermatologists focus a great deal of energy on its detection, the diagnosis of melanoma is often elusive. In this study, we evaluate MelaFind® a hand-held imaging device designed for non-invasive, early detection of lesions suspicious for MM. Specifically, our objectives were to estimate biopsy/referral sensitivity and specificity to MM between dermatologists and MelaFind, as well as to estimate diagnostic sensitivity and specificity to MM among dermatologists. The results indicated that average biopsy/referral sensitivity was 0.96 and 0.80 for MelaFind and study dermatologists, respectively. In our study, MelaFind appears to be more sensitive, but less specific than dermatologists in recommending biopsy of histologically proven melanomas. These findings suggest that MelaFind could be useful to dermatologists. A larger study is currently underway to confirm these results.

"This small pilot study disclosed that use of MelaFind increased the sensitivity for recommending a biopsy to diagnose melanoma compared to the threshold by dermatologists. Although less specific, MelaFind could prove to be a useful adjunct to help facilitate early diagnosis of this potentially fatal skin cancer."
Neil Fenske, M.D.
ODAC Judge, Poster Session

"Early diagnosis of melanoma is vital and can now be assisted by new technologies including dermoscopy and confocal imaging. One of the newest and most exciting technologies involves computer assistance via instrumentation referred to as "MelaFind". This poster demonstrates that Melafind can help dermatologists be more sensitive to recognizing early melanomas."
Jane M. Grant-Kels, M.D.
ODAC Judge, Poster Session

"The poster by Wells et al. was well designed and presented. It provided an important comparison between dermatologists and the device MelaFind in the specificity and sensitivity of recommending biopsies of atypical pigmented lesions."
Mark Bechtel, M.D.
ODAC Judge, Poster Session

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Dr. Ryan Wells is currently a Procedural Dermatology fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and recently completed his dermatology residency at Emory University. His research interests include community-acquired MRSA, the evaluation of pigmented lesions and skin cancer in the transplant population.

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