Hoag Hospital Launches Innovative Technology to Revolutionize Early Detection of Skin Cancer

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Hoag Cancer Center

May was Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but with summer finally here and an increase in sun exposure, melanoma is still top of mind, especially at Hoag Hospital which has launched innovative technology that will revolutionize early detection and prevention for this highly prevalent diagnosis.

Hoag is the first hospital on the West Coast to offer high-risk skin cancer patients access to the VECTRA WB360, the world’s first whole-body 3D photographic imaging system, as part of its comprehensive Melanoma & Skin Cancer Program.

According to information from Hoag, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer rates exceed the national average, which is why Southern California physicians face the increasing challenge of detecting skin cancer early.

This challenge is even more pronounced when it comes to the management of high-risk melanoma patients with numerous moles or suspicious lesions.

Funded through philanthropy, the VECTRA WB360 is reportedly a walk-through machine that has 92 cameras that flash simultaneously to capture a patient’s entire skin surface in less than one second. Powered by advanced imaging software that uses artificial intelligence, the system generates a 3D avatar of a patient’s entire body and maps out all moles and lesions with high-resolution fidelity.

“This highly innovative imaging system will allow our dermatologists to monitor suspicious lesions and track changes over time,” said Hoag’s Program Director of Dermatologic Oncology, Steven Q. Wang., M.D. “More importantly, this powerful tool can help dermatologists detect skin cancer at the earliest stage, while avoiding unnecessary skin biopsies. Hoag patients are now among the first in the nation to have access to the VECTRA WB360’s advanced technology.”

At annual follow-up exams, new photographic imaging allow dermatologists to more closely monitor changing lesions, fundamentally altering the way care is delivered to high-risk skin cancer patients.

“In sunny Southern California, melanoma remains a prevalent problem, and nothing is more powerful than prevention or early detection,” said Burton L. Eisenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S., Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair and executive medical director of Hoag Family Cancer Institute. “With this advanced noninvasive technology, our physicians will be able to detect changes in high-risk patients at the earliest possible stage.”

Offering access to the VECTRA WB360 demonstrates how the Hoag Family Cancer Institute is redefining how skin cancer care is delivered. When advanced disease is detected, Hoag’s multidisciplinary cancer team will collaborate to determine the best therapeutic modality for each patient, whether it be Mohs surgery, non-Mohs surgery or other innovative treatment modalities offered at Hoag, including immunotherapy and targeted therapy or access to clinical trials.

For more information about Hoag’s Melanoma & Skin Cancer Program, visit www.hoag.org/cancer

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