Rare melanomas develop from the same type of cells as common melanomas, but they are very different diseases. Rare types of melanoma (including acral, mucosal, and ocular) aren’t caused by sun exposure and have a very different genetic make-up compared to sun-related melanomas. Currently, the underlying causes of rare melanomas are not well characterized and there are limited treatment options available to patients.
Our research mission is to develop a better understanding of how rare melanomas develop, function, and respond to treatment in order to improve care for, and ultimately cure, patients with rare melanomas. We are using our unique resource of rare melanoma patient specimens and models to perform cutting-edge translational science which will ultimately help better prevent, diagnose, and treat rare forms of melanoma.