Melanoma Australia
An elderly Australian man reads a newspaper among other sun-worshippers on Sydney's famed Bondi beach during a sweltering summer day December 4, 2002. Reuters/Jason Reed

Victoria is rolling out a revolutionary melanoma blood test that can diagnose the disease within hours, thereby greatly improving patients’ chances of overcoming the disease. This liquid-biopsy is an Australian-first that allows patients to begin treatment immediately. It cuts weeks off the time taken to detect the fatal skin cancer.

Medical experts are hailing this new melanoma blood test as a major step forward in rolling out routine use of liquid biopsies for the purpose of cancer care in Victoria, reports Herald Sun.

“We’re putting cancer patients first and investing in world leading cancer research and future technologies that have the power to save lives ... It will mean patients can get diagnosed and treated sooner, without having to endure long and anxious waits and invasive and painful surgery,” said Health Minister Jill Hennessy.

The first accredited laboratory to be using this lifesaving melanoma blood test is the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. The revolutionary melanoma test has helped 34-year-old melanoma sufferer Natasha Stork go into treatment way faster than any traditional surgical biopsy would have allowed.

Natasha developed tumours all over her body just after six weeks of pain following the birth of her child. Doctors at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute used the new melanoma blood test to identify the type of cancer she was suffering from. They were able to do so in just six hours.

The revolutionary melanoma blood test is also capable of indicating when a treatment will stop working. This will allow doctors to change the medication in time to stop a patient’s condition from deteriorating.

According to, the Melbourne Melanoma Project has pioneered the liquid biopsy blood test in Victoria. It has been able to quickly identify the melanoma mutations existing in a patient’s DNA.

Researchers believe that the new melanoma blood test can also be used to detect other kinds of cancers. It is already being tested to detect lung cancer. Even though the test is now being used on advanced melanoma patients, doctors are of the opinion that it could also be used in early stages of melanoma.