About the Center

Melanoma is a type of cancer that forms in cells called melanocytes. It usually forms in skin, but can also form in other tissues such as the eyes or intestines. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds can raise the risk of melanoma of the skin. Members of the Melanoma Center do research to improve understanding and management of skin cancers. The center has these broad goals:

  • Improve melanoma treatment
  • Develop immune system therapies to treat it
  • Create targeted therapies against proteins involved in the disease’s spread to other areas
  • Identify new genes involved in melanoma susceptibility
  • Develop strategies to prevent the disease
  • Develop animal models of melanoma

Melanoma Research Labs
Melanoma Clinicians


A Sample of Current Projects

  • Investigating aspirin as a UV-protectanct and potential melanoma prevention agent in subjects at high-risk for melanoma.

  • Studying mechanisms of combination immunotherapy plus oncolytic virus-based therapy for melanoma.
  • Examining genes that regulate development of melanoma brain metastases.
  • Developing alternating dosing regimens to forestall the onset of drug resistance in patients with advanced BRAF-mutated melanoma.

News

New Insights about Melanocytes Could Lead to More Targeted Melanoma Treatments
Sep 02, 2021

New Insights about Melanocytes Could Lead to More Targeted Melanoma Treatments

Huntsman Cancer Institute melanoma researchers have generated the first “atlas” of where human melanocytes are located in the body. In analyzing the atlas data, the team discovered different types of melanocytes, including what looks to be the cell of origin for an understudied subtype called acral melanoma, which mostly affects people of color.... Read More

New Research Outlines a Critical Driver in an  Immune Cell’s Defense against Melanoma
May 11, 2021

New Research Outlines a Critical Driver in an Immune Cell’s Defense against Melanoma

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute have found critical new insights into how cells defend against melanoma. In a report published in Nature Communications, the team describes how an enzyme called nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, or NAMPT, initiates antitumor activity. The researchers suggest that new therapies strengthening this pathway in immune cells could be the foundation for more effective treatments against melanoma.... Read More

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Melanoma Center Co-leader

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Douglas Grossman, PhD, MD
Professor, Department of Dermatology
doug.grossman@hci.utah.edu
Cancer Center Bio

Melanoma Center Co-leader

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Sheri L. Holmen, PhD
Professor, Department of Surgery
sheri.holmen@hci.utah.edu
Cancer Center Bio