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
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    Clinical Trial for Patients with Mucosal Melanoma- Now Enrolling at University of ColoradoOpens in a new window

    Dec 1, 2022
    Earlier this year, the CU Center for Rare Melanomas launched a clinical trial for patients with advanced mucosal melanoma. This trial combines the epigenetic modifying drug Decitabine, "DEC-C", with Nivolumab anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Activation of the RIG-I innate immune pathway and increased expression of tumor antigens and pro-immune genes by DEC-C during Nivolumab treatment may enhance the frequency and activity of anti-tumor immune cells (CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, NK cells) and reduce the frequency and activity of immunosuppressive cells. This may increase the overall effectiveness and success of Nivolumab treatment. This pilot clinical trial will demonstrate whether combinatorial immunotherapeutic approaches that target epigenetic immune repression and RIG-I activity can favorably alter the tumor immune cell microenvironment and benefit patients with mucosal melanoma. For more information, please directly contact the CU melanoma clinic at (720) 848-0505.
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    Center for Rare Melanomas Co-Hosts AIM Symposium for Rare MelanomasOpens in a new window

    Sep 25, 2022
    The CU Center for Rare Melanomas and the CU Cancer Center co-hosted the hybrid "Living With Melanoma Patient Symposium: Rare Melanoma" on September 24, 2022 at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. This symposium included presentations by clinicians, researchers, and patients focused on rare melanoma subtypes including uveal, mucosal, and acral melanomas. The presentations were recorded and you can watch them by following the link for this article!
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