SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced that results from a verification study showed the Myriad myPath™ Melanoma test effectively differentiated malignant melanoma from benign skin lesions. The clinically-actionable information provided by myPath Melanoma will empower healthcare providers with objective data and improve the diagnosis of patients with melanoma. Myriad presented these data at the American Society of Dermatopathology Annual Meeting on Oct. 13, 2013. The verification study evaluated a 23-gene panel designed to differentiate malignant melanoma from benign skin lesions. The study analyzed 464 skin biopsy samples including 254 samples representing melanomas from all major subtypes including superficial spreading, lentigo maligna melanoma, acral, nodular and desmoplastic lesions. Using this set of patient samples, the myPath Melanoma test demonstrated high sensitivity of 89 percent and specificity of 93 percent at differentiating malignant melanoma from benign skin lesions. "The data from this large cohort showed that this test is highly accurate, relative to expert dermatopathologic review, at differentiating malignant melanoma from benign skin lesions," said Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D, chair of the Department of Dermatology in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine and director of the Melanoma Research Program at the Knight Cancer Institute. "The diagnosis of melanoma by conventional methods often is subjective, and this test provides objective data which could make it an extremely valuable and useful diagnostic tool to help save patients' lives." Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society statistics, about 76,000 new melanomas are diagnosed each year, and more than 9,000 people die from melanoma annually. Each year in the United States, there are approximately two million skin biopsies performed specifically for the diagnosis of melanoma. Approximately 14 percent or 280,000 biopsies are classified as indeterminate, which means the dermatopathologist cannot confidently determine whether the cells are benign or malignant.