Elena Hawryluk, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
This research proposal seeks to better understand moles in children: features that may prompt concern for a skin biopsy, and the natural characteristics of nevi from patients with diverse skin pigmentation. For the first aim, an exciting non-invasive tape test is used on pediatric lesions that are being biopsied, to determine whether the same signals that are useful to detect melanoma in adults are found in lesions from children. This test is promising to improve our detection of melanoma and reduce skin biopsies and procedures in children when they are not necessary. The second aim focuses on the documentation of the appearance of pigmented birthmarks in patients with a variety of skin tones. It is expected that pigmented lesions have very diverse features that may be appreciated and documented, and this effort will improve our understanding of normal moles and how they change naturally over time.
This project was funded by a 2021 Career Bridge Research Grant.