The launch of a new tissue collection facility at The Alfred will give hope to people with melanoma, as researchers now have access to a valuable resource to investigate and develop new treatments for this type of skin cancer.
Set up by the Victoria Cancer Biobank and funded by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency, the new facility will collect tissue to provide much needed support to collaborative research projects, such as the Melbourne Melanoma Project based at Peter Mac and the Victorian Melanoma Service at The Alfred.
Head of the Victorian Melanoma Service, Associate Professor John Kelly, said the new biobank is a vital step forward in the fight against melanoma skin cancer.
"Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world," John said.
"The collection of melanoma bio-specimens for research means we can increase our understanding of the genetic and molecular drivers of this disease and expand on recent advances that have provided the first effective treatments for advanced melanoma.
"It also means we have a centralised collection facility for people who have early stage melanoma and wish to participate in our research who can now donate tissue and blood samples."
According to the Cancer Council, 2500 Victorians are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in 2013, making it the third most common cancer in both men and women.