Polish scientists develop clip to facilitate diagnosis of melanoma

A special clip facilitating the diagnosis of skin tumours, including melanoma, has been developed by scientists from two universities in Katowice, southern Poland - the University of Silesia and the Medical University of Silesia.

The apparatus provides doctors with more information than a traditional dermatoscope, with the aid of which dermatologists can test pigmented moles on the skin for cancer risks, as it enables examination of deeper skin structures. This is important as the chances of recovery from skin cancer depend on the thickness of the tumour. If it is no bigger than 1mm, surgical removal can lead to full recovery.

The apparatus resembles a normal clothes peg, attached to a fold of skin where the discolouration is, and it emits a light beam towards a group of receivers on one arm of the clip. This enables the width of the mole and other parameters to be measured, which enables decision making on treatment or further observation, Dr Robert Koprowski of the University of Silesia said as cited in a press release.

"Thanks to that, the diagnosis of such skin tumours as malignant melanoma will be quicker and burdened with fewer errors," he added.

The innovative diagnostic tool is non-invasive and safe and the clip can also be used to monitor treatment.