skin-cancer-melafind.jpg Thanks to a N.Y.-based medical device maker, Electro-Optical Sciences, skin cancer screening will soon be a lot easier and faster. This computer-assisted device, called MelaFind, is currently under expedited review by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. Till now, Melanoma was detected by physicians with the help of dermascape, which is a hand-held magnifying glass with a light to illuminate the skin area.

Highlights of MelaFind
a. It is a non-invasive and objective computer vision system designed for the early detection of melanoma, evaluation of pigmented skin lesions, including atypical moles, before a biopsy is recommended.
b. It acquires and displays multi-spectral digital images of pigmented skin lesions.
c. It consists of a hand-held imaging "gun" that emits 10 different wavelengths of light to capture images of suspect pigmented skin lesions.
d. It uses automatic image analysis and statistical pattern recognition to identify lesions to be considered for biopsy.
e. It has a lens system composed of 9 elements that creates images of the light reflected from the lesions.
f. It also has a photon (light) sensor and an image processor that uses algorithms to extract many discrete characteristics or features from the images. MelaFindĀ® database of pigmented skin lesions results of approximately 9,000 biopsied lesions from approximately 7,000 patients

g. MelaFind can see up to 2.5 millimeters below the skin's surface.
h. It can help catch melanomas much earlier, without the need for many biopsies.
i. It is easy to use, simple and accurate.
j. The Phase 3 study, conducted at 7 locations across the US and which included 1,831 pigmented skin lesions from 1,383 patients, has shown that MelaFind's ability to accurately rule out the disease was 2.5 times greater than that of dermatologists.
k. Additional and compelling clinical data will be presented to a panel of dermatological experts in a special FDA panel meeting in the near future.
l. FDA approval is expected by the end of 2009 or early 2010.