3D skin cancer analyser

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The Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development (CD6) of the UPC is working on the project 3D Skin Tumour Analyser, a new device to detect skin cancer that has the capacity to measure the 3D shape of skin lesions and their morphological characteristics.

Skin cancer is a highly relevant disease from a social and economic perspective. It is the most common disease in white (Caucasian) people. The first step in the clinical procedure for treating skin cancer is diagnosis of the lesion. The standard methods used by dermatologists to diagnose skin cancer are a visual examination of the lesion following the ABCDE rule and dermatoscopy. However, due to the complexity of skin cancer, these methods still fail in a significant percentage of cases, with an average sensitivity of 74% in the diagnosis of melanoma through a visual examination using ABCDE, and 90% for dermatoscopy.


The main aim of the project is to advance with a basic prototype of the capacity to measure the 3D shape of a lesion and characterise 13 morphological parameters (asymmetry, border, colour, diameter, evolution and spots, among others). The prototype has been patented and a basic device has been developed that has been tested clinically with very positive results. In the clinical study, 600 suspicious skin lesions were examined in the Hospital Clínic y Provincial de Barcelona (Spain) and in the Hospital Universitario de Módena (Italy). The basic prototype of the 3D skin analyser identified melanomas with 91% reliability, giving the doctors new knowledge of the three-dimensional shape of the lesion that no other commercial device can currently provide.

The project is supported by the Government of Catalonia’s Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Ministry of Business and Knowledge and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).



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