New Website Dedicated to Sufferers of Melanoma
SkinMelanoma.com Raises Awareness of Disease and Importance of New Prognostic Test
FRIENDSWOOD, Texas, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Castle Biosciences Inc., a leading developer of prognostic tests for rare cancers, announced today the launch of SkinMelanoma.com, a website created to educate melanoma patients, their families and healthcare providers about this rare, but aggressive form of skin cancer. SkinMelanoma tells the story of this disease, its treatment and the importance of a new genomic test that was designed to predict an early stage melanoma patient’s risk of metastasis.
Data from validation studies of Castle Biosciences’ new molecular test, DecisionDx-Melanoma, were presented earlier this week at the 49(th) Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. Results showed that the biological information provided by DecisionDx-Melanoma helped identify those patients who are at high risk of metastasis, but were classified as lower risk under current staging methods.
Melanoma patients with non-metastatic disease, which represent the majority of all diagnoses annually, have about a 14 percent chance that their cancer will metastasize to a distant location such as the brain, lung or skin within five years.
“Tumor biology tells us that some early-stage melanoma patients may have a greater risk of metastasis than some patients with advanced disease. We believe that access to more accurate personalized prognostic information is key in selecting the most appropriate treatment path,” said Derek Maetzold, President and CEO of Castle Biosciences. “With SkinMelanoma.com, we hope to inform patients, their families, and physicians about the utility of prognostic testing and its potential impact on follow-up care.”
Patients and physicians interested in learning more about DecisionDx-Melanoma and results from the recent validation study can visit SkinMelanoma.com.
Cutaneous melanoma is diagnosed in approximately 76,000 people in the U.S. each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Seventy-five percent are diagnosed as Stage I or II, meaning there is no evidence of the melanoma spreading beyond the primary tumor. It is not the most prevalent form of skin cancer, but it is the most aggressive. Unlike other more common skin malignancies like basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, melanoma often spreads widely to other parts of the body, either via the lymphatic or blood system, resulting in cancers of distant organs including the brain or lungs. So, while it represents just 4% of skin cancers, melanoma accounts for about 80% of skin cancer-related deaths.
About DecisionDx-Melanoma ?
Addressing a need for more accurate prognostic information than current AJCC staging methods, the DecisionDx-Melanoma test was developed to help predict metastatic risk based on an individual’s tumor biology. The genomic test measures the activity or “expression” of a set of 31 genes within the patient’s tumor to classify low and high risk.
The test became available for clinical use in May 2013.
About Castle Biosciences
Castle Biosciences is a molecular diagnostics and prognostics company dedicated to helping patients and their physicians make the best possible decisions about their treatment and follow-up care based on the individual molecular signature of their tumor. The Company currently offers prognostic tests for patients with rare cancers including uveal melanoma, thymoma, and brain cancers. More information can be found at www.castlebiosciences.com.
SOURCE Castle Biosciences Inc.