DermTech has a new technology platform that identifies signs of melanoma at the genomic level and allows for dermatologists to detect melanoma earlier and more accurately. One in five American’s develop skin cancer during their lifetime, and every hour of everyday, an American dies from melanoma. It is the deadliest of skin cancers, and one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the U.S. Due to the closures of dermatology offices during the pandemic, the number of skin cancers diagnosed from March to May 2020 decreased by 43 percent compared to in 2019. Before the pandemic, only 16 percent of Americans ages 18-29 surveyed in a 2018 study said that they visited a dermatologist’s office in the past 12 months.
The DermTech Melanoma Test analyzes’ genes in a skin sample that is collected from Smart Stickers, and have a 99% negative predictive value. A Smart Sticker is placed on the on a suspicious spot or mole and the adhesive sticker collects cellular material to be transported to DermTech’s Gene Lab where scientists then look at the molecular level for RNA and DNA that are linked to melanoma. Results are then shared with a dermatology provider within three to five days. The test can also be performed with a doctor’s order and remote sample collection at home under a clinician supervision.
DermTech has also launched its #Stickit2Melanoma campaign, in honor of melanoma and skin cancer awareness month, to urge people to get proactive about their skin exams. They are pledging up to $1 million over the next four years to raise awareness about the importance of skin exams and making the exams accessible. For every #Stickit2Melanoma pledge to have a skin exam with a clinician, DermTech will make a $5 donation to its nonprofit partner organizations focused on skin health.