Bass Coast Health joins melanoma surveillance photography trial

A new melanoma clinical trial involving Bass Coast residents aims to improve surveillance for people at high risk of melanoma.

The trial comes as Bass Coast Health, in partnership with Alfred Health, has established a public dermatology clinic to provide the population of the South Gippsland Coast with access to specialist dermatology services.

The trial will allow high resolution full skin imaging to be undertaken locally. This will result in reduced travel burden for people living in Bass Coast Shire, offering state-of-the art technology. 

The IMAGE trial, coordinated by Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials (MASC Trials), will examine the effectiveness of Melanoma Surveillance Photography (MSP), which comprises 2D or 3D total body imaging and digital dermoscopy, during follow-up after a melanoma diagnosis.

Chief Investigator for the trial, Associate Professor Victoria Mar of Monash University, said there was a lack of randomised-controlled trial evidence of MSP’s benefit and cost-effectiveness for patients and the healthcare system.

“As we don’t have sufficient evidence, MSP is not used routinely during skin examinations as part of ‘standard care’ and is not reimbursed by Medicare. With imaging costing around $450, MSP is out of reach for many,” A/Prof Mar said.

The IMAGE Trial will compare MSP surveillance to standard care (i.e. monitoring without MSP), to determine which method results in fewer unnecessary biopsies in patients at high and ultra-high risk for melanoma.

The trial is now open at Bass Coast Health and will enrol up to 50 local residents for the study.

To take part, participants must be diagnosed with a primary melanoma and have some or many moles. Participants will be randomly allocated to having either MSP or ‘standard’ clinical surveillance without MSP.

They will continue surveillance with their usual doctor (dermatologist, GP or surgeon) over two years in the community and/or hospital setting, as appropriate. Participants in the control group will be offered 3D imaging at the completion of the trial.

The IMAGE trial is currently enrolling participants across 11 sites in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Regional sites such as Bass Coast Health are included in the trial to ensure a true representation of melanoma patients in the community and to provide regional residents with more equitable access to breakthroughs in medical care.

The IMAGE Trial is funded under the Medical Research Future Fund’s Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research initiative, sponsored by Monash University, coordinated by MASC Trials, and approved by the Alfred Hospital Ethics Committee.

If you are eligible and interested in participating in the trial, email the Bass Coast Health trial site coordinator (att: Maree McFarlane) or MASC Trials at and visit the MASC Trials IMAGE website page