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DermTech Launches Early Melanoma Test

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A physician will use adhesive patches to collect skin cells across an entire lesion. Photo: DermTech.

DermTech, Inc. has announced the launch of DermTech PLAplus, a test for the enhanced early detection of melanoma.

By combining RNA gene expression and DNA mutation analyses, PLAplus provides a non-invasive genomic test for enhanced early melanoma detection using an adhesive patch.

The new PLAplus test adds TERT (Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase) promoter DNA driver mutation analyses to the current RNA gene expression based Pigmented Lesion Assay (PLA), which includes LINC00518 and PRAME. TERT is individually associated with histopathologic features of aggressiveness and poor survival in melanoma. The combined tests (LINC00518 and PRAME, plus TERT) elevate the sensitivity from 91%1 to 97% and maintain a negative predictive value of >99%, resulting in a less than 1% probability of missing melanoma 2,3.

Laura Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, dermatology, University of Pittsburgh and senior author of Risk Stratification of Severely Dysplastic Nevi by Non-Invasively Obtained Gene Expression and Mutation Analyses, said, "Identifying melanoma at its earliest stages provides patients with the highest cure rate, and TERT promoter mutations are independently associated with poor overall survival and more aggressive disease. Having additional genomic information to objectively assess disease risk beyond what can be ascertained visually can help physicians make an earlier, more accurate diagnosis.”

Claudia Ibarra, chief operating officer at DermTech said, “DermTech is thrilled about the addition of DNA TERT promoter mutation analyses to our test menu for the enhanced early detection of melanoma. As always, it is our commitment to deliver high quality testing and laboratory services to our patients and clinicians, and PLAplus is a prime example of this.”

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