New Zealand company MoleMap – a global leader in melanoma diagnostic technology – is set to break into the lucrative US market.
MoleMap is the world’s most advanced melanoma surveillance program which combines state of the art technology with the skills of specialist dermatologists to diagnose and detect melanoma at the earliest possible stage.
With 2,500,000 lesion images in its database (the largest database of lesions in the world), MoleMap data is already being used for studies and educational programs in the United States. World-leading cancer center, Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Clinic (MSKCC) in the USA, is currently drawing on the database to further their ground-breaking studies in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.
The Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Clinic’s most recent published study (The Ugly Duckling Sign) found that identifying pigmented moles that appear different to a person’s other moles – the ‘ugly duckling sign’ – is a practical way to spot malignant melanoma skin cancer. The study utilised MoleMap’s data and made headlines around the world.
Now US melanoma patients are set to benefit from MoleMap’s innovative technology with the opening of a major centre in the New York area this year under the banner of MoleSafe.
The MoleMap program combines digital dermoscopy, total body photography and sequential monitoring to gather valuable information that is then analysed by specialist dermatologists to help identify melanomas which would potentially be overlooked during a conventional clinical examination.
MoleMap’s CEO Mr Adrian Bowling says it’s important to diagnose melanoma as early as possible as the longer it is left the more invasive the lesion may become and the worse the prognosis will be.
The enhanced diagnostic accuracy of the MoleMap program has also been shown to greatly reduce the number of unnecessary surgical removals of benign lesions, saving patients both money and unnecessary scarring, he says.
US doctor Richard Bezozo M.D. was so impressed by MoleMap’s technology and business model that he is now set to open the first major MoleMap centre in the States.
"I am thrilled to be able to offer MoleMap’s technology to the American public. MoleMap already has the backing of leading US dermatologists and,as a teledermatology based procedure, it will enable the new clinics to draw on MoleMap’sexpertise, no matter where they are based, to assess each patient and this is one of the great advantages of the program,” says Dr Bezozo.
“The combination of advanced technology plus the skills of expert dermatologists aids in identifying malignant tumours earlier, resulting in improved outcomes,” he says.
MoleMap was founded in 1997 by a group of New Zealand dermatologists. Today it has 22 clinics throughout New Zealand, with over 55,000 patients. The MoleMap model has already been successfully expanded into Australia with 13 clinics across Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. To date over 100,000 patient visits have been recorded into the MoleMap database.
MoleMap is also currently in discussions with several interested business parties in Europe and the United Kingdom.
Expansion into the US, UK and Europe is very exciting, says Mr Bowling.
“International experts are already working with MoleMap utilising our intellectual property to help better manage high risk melanoma patients in their studies. The opening of more clinics worldwide will mean that at-risk melanoma patients will benefit directly from this expertise,” says Mr Bowling
“We are thrilled that data and technology created in New Zealand is being used so widely by medical professionals and it is great to know that a New Zealand company is involved in assisting early diagnosis of melanoma skin cancers worldwide.”