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New Laser-Based Tool Accurately Identifies Melanoma

Allows physicians to compare the ratio of eumelanin to pheomelanin in skin samples

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new laser-based tool may help physicians better diagnose melanoma, according to research published in the Feb. 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Thomas E. Matthews, of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues tested a multiphoton technique (based on pump-probe spectroscopy) for diagnosing melanoma by examining skin slices from 42 pigmented lesions.

The researchers found that the melanomas had more eumelanin than the non-malignant lesions. The team was able to identify all melanomas, and exclude three-quarters of dysplastic nevi and all benign nevi, by comparing the ratio of eumelanin to pheomelanin in the samples.

"Our results create a compelling case for the development of pump-probe imaging as a basis for melanoma diagnosis," the authors write.

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