malignant neoplasm originating from melanocytes

Melanoma (pronounced /ˌmɛləˈnoʊmə/) is a malignant tumor of melanocytes which are found predominantly in skin but also in the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). It is one of the rarer types of skin cancer but causes the majority of skin cancer related deaths. Malignant melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer. It is due to uncontrolled growth of pigment cells, called melanocytes.[1][2] According to a report by the WHO, about 48,000 people die of melanoma every year.[3] Melanoma is prominent in New Zealand and Australia due to the hole in the ozone layer and the many beaches.

Classification and external resources
a melanoma
eMedicinederm/257 med/1386 ent/27 plastic/456

Melanoma that has metastasised (spread beyond the initial primary tumor) is treated with Dacarbizine or Interleukin-2, also known as Proleukin, in many cases. Interleukin-2 has a response rate of up to sixteen-percent.[4] Recent studies support the use of a new drug called Ipilimumab, which appears to prolong survival in metastatic melanoma patients.[5] Percutaneous liver perfusion with a chemotherapeutic agent known as melphalan can prolong progression free survival in patients with melanoma metastatic to the liver, although the majority of patients in this study had melanoma starting in the eye rather than the skin.[6]


  1. Melanoma Death Rate Still Climbing
  2. Cancer Stat Fact Sheets
  3. Lucas, Robyn; McMichael, Tony; Smith, Wayne; Armstrong, Bruce (2006). Solar Ultraviolet Radiation: Global burden of disease from solar ultraviolet radiation (PDF). Environmental Burden of Disease Series. Vol. 13. World Health Organization. ISBN 92-4-159440-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "(aldesleukin) - Metastatic Melanoma Clinical Data". Proleukin. Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
  5. "New Drug Extends Lives of Melanoma Patients". 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
  6. June 5, 2010 (2010-06-05). "Percutaneous hepatic perfusion with melphalan improved hepatic PFS in ocular, cutaneous melanoma". HemOncToday. Retrieved 2011-02-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)