Melanoma experts at Duke use the latest medical and surgical advances to detect melanoma at the earliest stage, and treat the skin cancer quickly and effectively. Our involvement in clinical trials offers hope to advanced melanoma patients, as well as patients at high risk for recurrent melanoma. Your personalized treatment plan ensures you experience the best results possible for your condition.

 Teresa Byrd almost lost hope after being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma but new therapies have improved her prognosis.

Leaders in Melanoma Treatment, Care and Research

Melanoma is a curable cancer if it is caught early and treated effectively. Later stages of the cancer must be treated aggressively to control its spread and minimize the risk that it will return. If you have already been diagnosed with melanoma and need care, our team of specialists have every diagnostic, medical and surgical tool at their fingertips, and the advanced training to achieve the best possible results. Since we are a melanoma research center, you may be eligible to participate in our clinical trials, which are studying several new therapies for advanced melanoma patients, as well as patients at risk for recurrent melanoma. Our work is showing promise for extending survival and achieving better outcomes.

Choose Duke for your melanoma treatment because we offer:

  • National Cancer Center. We are part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving care for our patients.
  • When Melanoma Spreads to Brain or Spine. New treatments are making it possible for people to live longer, with a better quality of life, when cancer has spread to the brain or spine. Duke experts in the medical and surgical management of metastatic brain and spine tumors use these advanced therapies to extend life for people who may have been told they are out of options. 
  • A team approach. Our melanoma team includes dermatologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors), dermatopathologists (specialists who look at skin diseases at a cellular level), and radiologists, who work together to develop the most effective treatment plan for you.
  • Leaders in regional chemotherapy. We are a major referral center for regional chemotherapy, which is given in high doses to people whose melanoma has recurred in multiple places along an arm or leg.
  • Access to clinical trials. Depending on the stage and type of your melanoma, you may be eligible to participate in our numerous clinical trials, which are studying new therapies, and therapy combinations. Our goal is to develop new ways to extend survival and improve outcomes in advanced melanoma patients, as well as patients who are at high risk for recurrent melanoma. Many of these therapies are offering hope and showing promise to people who are no longer candidates for surgery.
  • Expertise in head and neck melanoma. Our experienced ear, nose and throat surgeons are specially trained in removing melanoma that involves the head and neck. Their expertise working exclusively on the head and neck increases the likelihood that you will experience a positive outcome for these complicated procedures.
  • Ocular melanoma treatment options. Our ophthalmologists are specially trained to detect and treat melanoma that occurs around or near the eye. Treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, are personalized to your individual tumor location, stage and type.
  • Compassionate care for pediatric melanoma. If your child has been diagnosed with melanoma, we make the treatment process as smooth and compassionate as possible. Appointments with your oncologist and dermatologist can be conveniently scheduled at the same time and location, and a child life specialist is present to ensure your child feels as comfortable as possible.
  • Comprehensive support. You’ll have access to our many cancer support services which help you understand and make decisions about treatment options, manage the side effects of your melanoma treatment, and help you and your family cope with the emotional effects of your diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.  


Your doctor will develop your treatment plan based on the location of your melanoma, how deeply it has penetrated the surface of your skin, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. Treatment options for melanoma include:


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