The Centre of Research Excellence for the Study of Naevi is a collaborative research project led by Professor H. Peter Soyer from The University of Queensland.
This CRE is funded by the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council until the end of 2020.
Naevi, commonly called moles, are benign neoplasms of the skin derived from melanocytes. They vary in number, size, shape and colour depending on a multitude of endogenous and exogenous factors. In both children and adults new naevi form and existing ones change regularly.
Studies have consistently shown that the number of naevi is the strongest predictor of risk for melanoma. Indeed, many melanomas grow adjacent to or within pre-existing naevi, and melanocytic naevi are the major differential diagnosis of primary melanoma.
Improved understanding of naevus development, transformation and recognition of changes is the key to understanding melanoma, as well as establishing more efficient prevention and early detection models for this common malignancy.
Consumer involvement is critical, as the vast majority of melanomas are first detected by patients themselves, and current public health guidelines ask people to make skin self-examination a habit and present to a doctor with changing naevi.
The research that will be conducted as part of this CRE is urgently needed, as naevi are both the strongest predictor of melanoma risk and, separately, potentially precursor lesions of melanoma.