The Western Australian Melanoma Health Study (WAMHS) was established in 2006 and aimed to invite all patients in Western Australia who had been diagnosed with invasive melanoma to participate. Blood samples, histo-pathology data and information on exposure and other risk factors were collected from consenting patients and used to form an extensive population-based database and linked biospecimen resource.
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and Australia has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world. Whilst epidemiological studies have identified the major environmental and host risk factors for the disease, the genetic determinants of susceptibility, progression and prognosis, and their interactions with environmental factors, remain largely unknown. This study aimed to create a resource which could be used by researchers to investigate the causes of melanoma and factors affecting prognosis, which will assist in the development of new measures for prevention, detection and treatment.
The recruitment and data collection phase of the WAMHS ran from June 2006 to March 2010 and was funded by the Scott Kirkbride Melanoma Research Centre.