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Melanoma trial offers hope to help others

As an avid collector of Six Million Dollar Man memorabilia, Stuart Chynoweth is no stranger to the idea of life improving after surgery. But since his melanoma diagnosis in late 2022, Stuart has undergone a series of operations to rival the iconic Steve Austin.

Stuart’s melanoma journey began with a mole on the back of his knee. After knocking it and drawing blood, Stuart had a biopsy that confirmed it was a melanoma. A couple of weeks later he underwent surgery to remove the mole and was asked if he would like to join the Melanoma Margins Trial, ‘MelMarT-II’.

“This trial is an opportunity for me to not only get the best care but to also do my little bit to help others. Melanoma isn’t going away, so if I can contribute to this important research and improve treatment options for people diagnosed in the future, then that’s the least I can do.”

Stuart is still undergoing biopsies and has had more spots excised since his initial diagnosis. But despite that, he’s optimistic about the future. 

“I’m grateful that I have such a professional and skilled team looking after me. I want to be around for my partner and kids, and being part of such an innovative clinical trial gives me hope that this will be the case.”

Read more about Stuart’s melanoma journey here.

One centimetre can make a big difference

Patients with primary cutaneous melanoma – where the cancer cells have penetrated deeply into the skin but haven’t spread to other parts of the body – undergo surgery to remove the melanoma completely. For high-risk melanoma patients, their doctor’s decision to use either a 1cm or 2cm excision margin around the melanoma could impact their quality of life and survival.

Melanoma surgery is a delicate balance

A larger excision margin can lead to complex surgical reconstruction, poorer cosmetic appearance, post-operative complications, and impact on function. On the other hand, if the excision margin is too small, the melanoma might return or spread.

Currently there is no high-quality clinical trial evidence or consensus in the medical community about the optimal melanoma excision margin size for stage II melanoma. The evidence available suggests a 1cm margin is reasonable. The Melanoma Margins Trial, ‘MelMarT-II’ will determine whether a 1cm or a 2 cm margin is best and provide certainty for melanoma patients and their doctors in deciding the most effective treatment.  

Clinical trial to find the answer and save lives

Led by Australian investigators and Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials, the MelMarT-II trial will study almost 3,000 patients across eight countries, including major coordinating trial centres in Australia, Europe, and North America. The results of this global effort will help determine the best surgical treatment for stage II melanoma, leading to better outcomes for melanoma patients in Australia and around the world.

Learn more about the MelMarT-II trial.

How your donation can support the Melanoma Margins Trial

If you would like to make a donation by cheque or bank transfer, please email for further details.

All donations to MASC Trials over $2 are tax deductible and you will be sent a tax receipt. MASC Trials is a registered not-for-profit research organisation (company limited by guarantee), and has an academic affiliation with Monash University, with a dedicated centre supporting its research activities, the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research Centre, within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.