Our Mission

Welcome to the CU Center for Rare Melanomas, a joint clinical and research center dedicated to the understanding and treatment of rare, non-sun related types of melanoma such as mucosal, acral, and ocular. Our mission is to uncover causes and improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of rare melanomas through:

  • Cutting-edge basic, epidemiologic, and translational research
  • Development of clinical testing specifically for rare melanomas
  • Initiation of clinical trials designed for patients with rare melanomas
  • Building a collaborative network to link rare melanoma researchers and clinicians world-wide
  • Increase awareness of rare melanomas in the medical community and general public

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Center Overview


  • Learn more about the center
  • Meet our faculty and staff
  • About the Patten-Davis Foundation 

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Clinic Overview


  • Make an appointment
  • Meet our doctors
  • Learn about clinical trials
  • Find our clinic

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Research Overview


  • Read about our goals
  • Learn about current projects
  • Collaborate with us
  • Request samples
  • Kasey Couts, PhD, Recipient of Young Investigator AwardOpens in a new window

    May 11, 2022
    Kasey Couts, PhD, has been awarded the Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award for her research: Targeting anti-tumor immunity in anatomically distinct mucosal melanomas. Dr. Couts is an Assistant Professor of Research in the Division of Medical Oncology. Additionally, she serves as co-director for the CU Center for Rare Melanomas where she and her co-director Bill Robinson, MD, PhD, aim to build a comprehensive clinical and research center dedicated to understanding and treating rare melanomas. Rare types of melanomas including acral, mucosal, and ocular are considered melanomas but are very different diseases that remain not well understood resulting in less effective treatments for patients with these rare disease types. Mucosal melanomas have poor anti-tumor immunity compared to cutaneous melanomas with preliminary data showing widespread epigenetic silencing of innate immunity and other critical immune-related genes in mucosal melanoma. Dr. Couts hopes to provide insight as to how this relates to anti-tumor immunity and response to immune checkpoint inhibition, which still remains unclear. Congratulations Dr. Couts!
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  • CU Cancer Center Members Receive Grants to Conduct High-Tech ResearchOpens in a new window

    Feb 10, 2022
    The Tumor-Host Interactions Program (THI) at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has awarded four CU Cancer Center researchers $30,000 each to gain preliminary data using the Multiplex Ion Beam Imager (MIBI) housed in the cancer center’s Human Immune Monitoring Shared Resource (HIMSR) to support a competitive national grant proposal. The selected researchers are expected to submit a national competitive grant proposal within six months of completing their THI-MIBI pilot studies.
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