The Foundation Clinic for Biomedical Research (FCRB) have started with the iToBoS Data Acquisition Clinical Trial, taking place at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.
The FCRB team are recruiting patients who are coming to the dermatology clinic for their regular skin examination appointments. We have had a very positive response, with many patients willing to volunteer their time to help advance the way we monitor and detect melanoma. Our target is to recruit 250 patients, and so far, 55 patients have opted to take part in our clinical trial.
Participation in the clinical trial involves having total body 3D photography completed, which is often part of their regular clinical visit. This type of imaging uses a framework of 92 cameras which can capture the entire skin surface except for the soles of feet, and the scalp. Computer software is then used to ‘stitch’ the photos together to create a 3D avatar of the patient. We also ask study participants to complete a short (10 minute) questionnaire to collect information regarding risk factors for melanoma. These risk factors include demographics, personal and family skin cancer history, previous and current sun protective behaviour, and phenotype information such as hair/eye/skin colour, and whether they have many naevi or just a few. Lastly, we are also asking participants for a saliva sample so we can look at genetic information relating to melanoma risk.
The objective of the clinical trial is to collect skin images, health information, and genetic risk scores to develop a new melanoma screening platform called the Intelligent Total Body Scanner, or iToBoS for short. The iToBoS Scanner will have integrated computer-aided diagnostic tools to assist healthcare professionals when screening for melanoma. The images, health information and genetic risk scores collected in this clinical trial, will be used by iToBoS consortium partners to train computer algorithms to detect and categorise skin lesions from images, as well as stratify patient risk. Computer algorithms are developed in a process known as Machine Learning (ML), or Artificial Intelligence (AI). This process requires a large amount of data from diverse populations to train the algorithms. Concurrently, a similar clinical trial is also taking place in Brisbane, Australia, to build a diverse training dataset for ML
The commencement of the clinical trial in Barcelona is a very important step for the iToBoS consortium in achieving our goal in revolutionising the way we monitor and detect skin cancer. At FCRB we are thrilled to be part of such an important project and are keen to provide the clinical data which is key to creating the next generation of AI tools for assisting healthcare professionals in screening for melanoma.