Victorians will be the first in Australia to access a revolutionary new blood test for melanoma which is expected to give patients as greater chance of survival.
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) will be the first accredited laboratory in the country to administer this life-saving test.
The ground breaking 'liquid biopsy' blood test promises to speed up melanoma diagnosis ensuring patients get personalised treatment sooner.
Diagnosis of melanoma often requires a complex and invasive surgical biopsy that can take weeks before answers are available. The breakthrough technology is expected to provide the same information much faster - from a simple blood test.
At the ONJCRI, the test can now be performed in under three days, with a recent patient receiving a diagnosis in just six hours. From the test, doctors can tailor the most appropriate treatment.
The technology's accreditation is a major step toward routine use of liquid biopsies in Victorian cancer care.
There were 2,712 new melanoma diagnoses and 379 deaths from the disease in Victoria in 2015.
Since it was established in 2006, the agency has now invested A$160 million into translational cancer research, which has been designed to fast-track the conversion of ground-breaking cancer research into clinical practice and new treatments that deliver better cancer care.