Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Leaders in the Treatment of Skin Cancer

The physicians of the Stanford Skin Cancer Program lead the field in the treatment of both melanoma and non-melanoma cancers. From the utilization of novel imaging modalities to innovative chemoprevention trials, program specialists are dedicated to advancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention options for individuals with these rare and often complex forms of skin cancer. The Stanford Melanoma Program has a strong multidisciplinary focus involving dermatology, medical and surgical oncology, dermatopathology, nuclear medicine, and radiation oncology. Specialists have great expertise in prevention, early detection, and management of localized and metastatic melanoma. Our non melanoma Skin Cancer Program encompasses dermatologic and Mohs Micrographic Surgery for the treatment of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas as well as other non-melanoma skin cancers and an interdisciplinary approach to Merkel cell carcinoma, which is rare but increasing in incidence.

Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Expertise. Stanford Hospital & Clinics offers long-standing clinical expertise in the diagnosis and management of Pigmented Lesions and Melanoma. The Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program is structured with simultaneously-occurring dermatology, surgery, and oncology clinics which allow for multidisciplinary care of patients with all stages of disease. These clinics include the Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Clinic, designed for evaluation and follow-up of patients at increased risk of melanoma based on mole pattern and those with cutaneous (skin) melanoma; the Melanoma Surgery Clinics, including Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Surgical Oncology, and the Medical Oncology Clinics for patients with metastatic melanoma.

The Stanford Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program is a recognized leader in primary and secondary prevention research, including chemoprevention studies and early detection strategies to enhance the likelihood of cure. A number of clinical trials are available at Stanford for patients with advanced melanoma, stemming from our participation in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG). High-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) therapy is also available at Stanford Hospital & Clinics for appropriate patients with stage IV (distant) disease.

As a leader in the global scientific and medical community, Stanford Hospital & Clinics continues to pioneer new approaches to understanding and treating melanoma. With a better grasp of how and why normal melanocytes (pigment cells) become melanoma, more effective therapies are now possible. Drawing upon discoveries made in the basic sciences (molecular biology, immunology, engineering, and physics) allows us to "translate" these advances to improve the diagnosis and management of melanoma. This collaboration between basic scientists and clinician investigators bridges the gap from "bench to bedside" and is a unique aspect of patient care within the Stanford Cancer Institute.

Non-melanoma Skin Cancer Expertise. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common forms of skin cancer, yet when caught early, they are not only easily treated but usually curable with surgery. The Skin Cancer Program's expert dermatologic and plastic surgeons utilize state of the art techniques, ensuring the best possible outcome - both functionally and aesthetically. Stanford Dermatology clinical-investigators and basic scientists conducted pivotal research in the use of the recently FDA-approved drug, Vismodegib, for patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma, including those with inoperable tumors and metastatic disease. Stanford Dermatology researchers have pioneered study of this agent in patients with basal cell nevus syndrome, a genetic disorder than results in the formation of hundreds of skin cancers. Ongoing research involving this class of drugs, termed hedgehog pathway inhibitors, is in progress through Stanford Dermatology , and we offer an Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma Clinic of multidisciplinary cancer specialists for patients with aggressive basal cell skin cancer. To learn more about available treatment options, make an appointment with the Stanford Skin Cancer Program.

Cutaneous Lymphoma Expertise. As a national leader in the research and treatment of cutaneous lymphomas, the Stanford Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic offers comprehensive and expert care for patients with these rare diseases. Specific information for Cutaneous Lymphoma can be viewed at the Stanford Lymphoma Program.

High Risk Skin Cancer/Transplant Expertise. The high-risk skin cancer clinic provides care and education for patients with an elevated burden or risk of developing skin cancer. Specific indications include immune deficit, history of transplantation (solid organ and hematopoetic/stem cell), active lymphoma (e.g. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia), substantial immunosuppression for other purposes (e.g., autoimmune disease), and genetic predisposition (e.g. Xeroderma Pigmentosa, Gorlin's syndrome, Rombo syndrome).

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