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Melanoma and Skin Cancer Surgery - Homepage

Compassionate Multidisciplinary Patient Care
Ajay V. Maker, MD, FACS, FSSO

Ajay V. Maker, MD FACS, FSSO

Professor of Surgery  
Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology  
Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor in Surgical Oncology

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A new era is dawning in the treatment of advanced melanoma and UCSF is at the forefront of advances to treat the disease. The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Surgery Program offers highly specialized, expert, compassionate surgical care for melanoma and other aggressive non-melanoma skin cancers that include Merkel cell, eccrine, and squamous cell carcinomas. Published data demonstrate better outcomes and fewer complications at institutions performing a high volume of melanoma and skin cancer surgeries such as at UCSF. Our program also specializes in the treatment of uncommon and very rare skin cancers, often rarely seen in the community setting and therefore more difficult to diagnose and treat. Our surgeons are all fellowship-trained surgical oncologists that specialize in the treatment of these skin cancers and, as appropriate, perform excisions, sentinel node biopsies, complete nodal dissections, and isolated limb infusions. Our surgical oncologists also routinely perform surgery to remove metastases from these skin cancers, including when they have spread to the liver or other abdominal organs or metastasize from uveal melanoma. We work hand-in-hand with our colleagues in melanoma dermatology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology, often tailoring the timing of surgery for advanced disease within customized immunotherapy regimens or clinical trials.

The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center offers outstanding care where specialized multidisciplinary teams focus on specific cancers. Patients are evaluated at the Melanoma & Skin Cancer Center, a center of excellence for the region, by a team that includes surgical oncologists, head and neck surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists, dermatologists, dermatopathologists, radiologists, geneticists, clinical trial coordinators and psychotherapists. Each patient receives state-of-the-art care and a personalized treatment plan with weekly review of cases at the Melanoma Tumor Board conference.

Researchers at UCSF are dedicated to understanding the biology of melanoma and to finding treatments that are both effective and durable. Principal Investigators at UCSF lead some on the most innovative and promising clinical trials for melanoma and other aggressive skin cancers, some combining multiple novel agents to target melanoma-specific pathways and receptors, a new paradigm in cancer research.

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Melanoma patients at UCSF receive the highest level of care available with standard therapy and state-of-the-art technologies. Yet our commitment to eradicating melanoma is also fueled by a passion for scientific investigation and discovery that significantly improves that standard-of-care.

Beyond conventional therapies, patients have access to investigational therapies for melanoma. UCSF offers melanoma patients a broad menu of clinical trials, providing those eligible with access to some of the most promising novel agents and targeted therapies.

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Our mission is to develop the next generation of leaders in academic surgery.
Julie Ann Sosa, MD, MA, FACS, FSSO Leon Goldman, MD Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Chair, Department of Surgery

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