July 5, 2016


Why do we need the SKin INovation (SKIN) research project?

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is a major public health issue in Australia. Finding melanomas at a very early stage before they have invaded or spread is one way to improve survival rates for this cancer. One approach to detecting melanomas early is for people to examine their own skin for suspicious moles and skin spots so that they can alert their doctor and be examined promptly. The technology we are testing has the potential to diagnose melanoma early and ultimately save lives.

Who is conducting the study and who funds it?

This project is being undertaken as part of a research project on behalf of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the University of Queensland (UQ), in partnership with FotoFinder Systems, Princess Alexandra Hospital Foundation, University of Arizona, Melanoma Patients Australia, Medical University Graz and the Dermatology Service Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The study is funded by a research grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council APP1113962.

What are the possible benefits for me?

You will have your skin examined by a doctor at The Queensland University of Technology, in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. This is at no cost to you. The doctor will provide you with feedback about the moles and spots you have identified as being suspicious. This may assist you to detect suspicious moles during skin self-examinations in the future. The information obtained by this study may also provide insight into whether the dermatoscope could be useful for consumers to detect melanoma. Although the procedures tested in this study may be of no direct benefit to you, they have the potential to help others in the future.

To compensate you for your contribution should you choose to participate, the research team will provide all participants with a $50 Coles/Myer gift voucher for the time, travel and effort required to complete all study procedures.

What about my privacy and confidentiality?

All comments and responses will be treated confidentially unless required by law.  Any data collected as part of this project will be stored securely as per QUT’s Management of research data policy. Please note that non-identifiable data collected in this project may be used as comparative data in future projects or stored on an open access database for secondary analysis.

What will happen to the images of my skin lesions?

Given the educational nature of the images likely to be captured in the study, we may include some dermatoscope images of skin lesions, spots or moles in scientific and medical publications. No images used in any publication will identify you. We will only use an image of your skin if you give consent for us to do so. You are not obliged to give your consent for images, and if you choose not to give consent for your images to be used, you can still take part in the study.  You will provide separate consent for this aspect of the study.

Are there risks involved in my participation?

The risks of participation in this project are minimal and are not expected to exceed what would normally be experienced in day-to-day life. However, if you feel discomfort while participating in the study (for example some people may feel distressed when thinking about skin cancer), QUT provides limited free counselling services for research participants of QUT projects who may experience discomfort or distress as a result of their participation in the research. Should you wish to access this service please contact the Clinic Receptionist of the QUT Psychology and Counselling Clinic on 07 3138 0999. Please indicate to the receptionist that you are a research participant. You can also contact the Cancer Council helpline on 13 11 20 if you have any questions about cancer.