• Project Title: Searching for Substages of Melanoma by Quantifying Disorder in Tumor Architecture

  • BASIS Advisor: Dr. Murthy

  • Internship Location: Stanford University

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. David Nguyen, Dr. Rajendra Singh

Melanoma is a skin cancer that presents itself in the form of moles that behave in a way not typical to normal moles. There are three classifications of melanoma: Cutaneous Melanoma (melanoma of the skin), Mucosal Melanoma (melanoma of mucous membranes), and Ocular Melanoma (melanoma of the eye). Treatment for melanoma varies from stage to stage; however, it can generally be cured through surgery, radiation treatment, medications, and sometimes chemotherapy. The current method of staging melanoma skin cancer is the TNM system that considers the features of the tumor, whether or not cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes, and whether or not cancer cells have metastasized to other organs. The "T," or tumor, aspect of the TNM system measures histological features of the tumor, such as the thickness of the tumor, the number of cells that are activity dividing, and whether ulceration has occurred. These features limit the ability of a pathologist to stratify melanomas into more refined T categories that may make the TNM staging system more accurate. In this project, I will use resources at Stanford University to apply the Quadrant Slope Index (QSI) algorithm to hematoxylin & eosin images of melanoma to determine if it can quantitatively stratify early stage from late stage melanomas.