A new skin cancer test may reduce up to 42 percent of sentinel lymph node biopsies used in the diagnosis of patients with melanoma, researchers at SkylineDx and Mayo Clinic report.

The study appears in JCO Precision Oncology.

The test, which is under development, calculates a patient's risk of nodal metastasis on an individual basis through a combination analysis of eight genes from the patient's primary tumor, the tumor thickness and the patient's age. Design of the test's underlying algorithm, a biological assertion of the genes involved and the performance of the diagnostic test, have been published in JCO Precision Oncology. It has already been validated in an independent European dataset presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology conference in 2019.

“This is the first peer-reviewed article generated within our extensive melanoma collaboration, called the Falcon Research & Development Program," says Dharminder Chahal, CEO SkylineDx, in a news release. "It demonstrates the scientific and clinical robustness of our invention, and we can now shift focus onto bringing the independent validation data and the results of our clinical utility studies into the public domain. In the meantime, our teams have advanced the development of the test, to ensure it can be available to patients and physicians at the shortest timeframe possible."

Senior author Alexander Meves, M.D., a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn. has a financial interest in the new test. Mayo Clinic has reviewed this relationship and taken appropriate steps to protect the scientific integrity of the research.