INTRODUCTION: A Melanoma Screening Summit was held in Brisbane, Australia, to review evidence regarding current approaches for early detection of melanomas and explore new opportunities.
RESULTS: Formal population-based melanoma screening is not carried out in Australia, but there is evidence of considerable opportunistic screening as well as early detection. Biopsy rates are rising and most melanomas are now diagnosed when in situ. Based on evidence review and expert opinion, the Summit attendees concluded that there is currently insufficient information in terms of comparative benefits, harms and costs to support change from opportunistic to systematic screening. Assessment of gains in precision and cost-effectiveness of integrating total body imaging, artificial intelligence algorithms and genetic risk information is required, as well as better understanding of clinical and molecular features of thin fatal melanomas.
CONCLUSIONS: Research is needed to understand how to further optimise early detection of melanoma in Australia. Integrating risk-based population stratification and more precise diagnostic tests is likely to improve the balance of benefits and harms of opportunistic screening, pending assessment of cost-effectiveness. Implications for public health: The Summit Group identified that the personal and financial costs to the community of detecting and treating melanoma are rising, and this may be mitigated by developing and implementing a more systematic process for diagnosing melanoma.