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3D Avatar revolutionises the fight against skin cancer

6 August 2015

3D Avatar revolutionises the fight against skin cancer

The Princess Alexandra Hospital is now home to Australia’s first 3D Avatar – a revolutionary skin cancer-detecting system.

Director of Dermatology at PA Hospital Professor Peter Soyer said the system, called the VECTRA Whole Body 360, is the first of its kind in Australia and is revolutionising the fight against skin cancer.

“Every year in Australia skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers,” Professor Soyer said.

“Living in Queensland, we are used to living our lives in the sun, however with this outdoor lifestyle comes risks of developing serious conditions like skin cancer, so skin checks are a vital part of yearly check-ups for all Queenslanders.

“Between 95 and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun and two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.

“This revolutionary new way of detecting and monitoring skin cancer will lead to better outcomes for our patients.

“It will be the new screening tool of the future.”

Professor Soyer said the prototype, funded by the Princess Alexandra Hospital Private Practice Trust Fund and located in the Clinical Research Facility, is the first of its kind outside of Manhattan.

“The VECTRA Whole Body 360 revolutionises the way clinicians map, monitor and diagnose skin conditions and skin cancers,” he said.

“To make a 3D avatar, a patient stands within a scaffold surrounded by 46 cameras, each of which takes an image at the same time.

“A computer program then stitches the images together to produce a 3D model that replicates the skin surface in complete detail.”

Professor Soyer said the main function of this complete body photography system is tracking changes in skin lesions, which are a tell-tale sign of a developing melanoma.

“The system quickly makes a record of the patient's whole skin surface that can be referred to during follow-up visits to identify changing moles.

“It can also be used to measure body dimensions and track these over time as well,” he said.

“Our patients are already reaping the benefits of this new system and are fascinated by the technology and its potential benefits.”

The VECTRA Whole Body 360 is located in the new Clinical Research Facility run by the Translational Research Institute at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Last updated 7 December 2015
Last reviewed 6 August 2015

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