Option Grids: information for melanoma patients

NICE has worked with Option Grid and UK dermatologists Jason Thomson and Jane McGregor, to produce information for melanoma patients and their medical teams. The information is provided in the form of Option Grids which allow consideration of the potential advantages and disadvantages of given medical procedures or treatments. The new grids relate to sentinel node biopsy and whether or not to have regular CT (body) scans after their melanoma diagnosis.

Option Grid Sentinel Node Biopsy yes or no

Option Grid Completion Lymphadenectomy yes or no

Option Grid. Follow up with regular CT scans Yes or No

BAP1: a newly recognised melanoma gene

GenoMEL has some new information in the Information for Patients section, on a rare inherited genetic mutation which increases the risk of melanoma in some families. The appearance of the moles and the melanomas in these families can be unusual and affected families are also at increased risk of other cancers such as mesothelioma and eye (uveal) melanoma.

NICE Clinical Melanoma Guideline

NICE published the Clinical Melanoma Guideline in July 2015. This Guideline is directed at secondary and tertiary care (hospital treatment) in the UK and considers the role of treatments such as sentinel node biopsy.

This is a link to the guideline http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng14

The Guideline addressed the role of sentinel node biopsy and regular body scans after diagnosis, among other  issues. The decision was made to develop information for melanoma patients about the advantages and disadvantages of sentinel node biopsy and regular imaging. This information was developed in conjunction with Option Grid and was published in December 2015. The grids can be obtained direct from the Option Grid web page but are also provided in the Option Grid post.



Vitamin D and melanoma: new podcast

NICE asked Professor Julia Newton-Bishop to discuss why vitamin D was considered by the Clinical Melanoma Guideline and this is the link to her podcast


New GenoMEL paper

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has published a new GenoMEL paper examining the role of chromosomal telomere length in melanoma. The research involved creating a score representing genetically determined telomere length, based on all the established telomere associated genes and found that this score correlated with melanoma risk.

In an associated press release author Dr Mark Iles summarised the research, “Telomeres have been described as being like the plastic tips on shoelaces that protect the shoelace from fraying, just as telomeres protect chromosomes from degrading or fusing to one another. For the first time, we have established that the genes controlling the length of these telomeres play a part in the risk of developing melanoma.”


Telomeres are akin to shoe lace caps (aglets)