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Dynamic markers based on blood perfusion fluctuations for selecting skin melanocytic lesions for biopsy

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Gemma Lancaster
  • Aneta Stefanovska
  • Margherita Pesce
  • Gian Marco Vezzoni
  • Barbara Loggini
  • Raffaele Pingitore
  • Fabrizio Ghiara
  • Paolo Barachini
  • Gregorio Cervadoro
  • Marco Romanelli
  • Marco Rossi
Article number12825
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/08/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Number of pages12
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Skin malignant melanoma is a highly angiogenic cancer, necessitating early diagnosis for positive prognosis. The current diagnostic standard of biopsy and histological examination inevitably leads to many unnecessary invasive excisions. Here, we propose a non-invasive method of identification of melanoma based on blood flow dynamics. We consider a wide frequency range from 0.005 – 2 Hz associated with both local vascular regulation and effects of cardiac pulsation. Combining uniquely the power of oscillations associated with individual physiological processes we obtain a marker which distinguishes between melanoma and atypical nevi with sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 90.9%. The method reveals valuable functional information about the melanoma microenvironment. It also provides the means for simple, accurate, in vivo distinction between malignant melanoma and atypical nevi, and may lead to a substantial reduction in the number of biopsies currently undertaken.