Clinical Perspectives

Moffitt Physicians Team Together to Open the Melanoma Brain & Spine Tumor Clinic

December 01, 2014


Peter Forsyth, MD

Brain metastases are all too common, and almost 30 percent of patients with malignant melanoma develop them at some time in their lives. They are a particularly challenging problem, since they combine all the problems of treating a difficult cancer like melanoma with the limitations of dealing with a fragile and complex organ like the brain or spine.  

We are excited to announce the Melanoma Brain & Spine Tumor Clinic, one of the first in the world that is dedicated to treating patients with this difficult problem. This includes melanoma as it affects any part of the nervous system such as the brain, spine and peripheral nerve. To deliver the best treatment and newest research to your patients affected by melanoma in the brain and spine, we bring together the passion and skills of the Cutaneous Oncology Department, Neuro-Oncology Department and others as a single team. The team of specialists includes a melanoma oncologist, neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, neuro-oncologist, neurologist and oncology pharmacist. Neuropsychologists, psychiatrists and physiotherapists are also available.

Clinic Team Partners

This all takes place in an outstanding environment of basic, translational and clinical research in melanoma and brain tumors at Moffitt. We are all dedicated to this problem and to minimizing any side effects of our treatments. We will combine the best treatment and research – all based on the goal of helping your patients who have this complex disease live longer and better lives.

In general, our research in melanoma brain metastases includes strategies for prevention, treatments in the form of drugs, combination therapies, immunotherapies, intrathecal therapies (to treat melanoma in the meninges or coverings of the brain), overcoming resistance to treatment and enhancing the brain’s environment to help the brain fight metastases, as well as minimizing side effects of these treatments.

Our goal is for all of your patients have a positive experience and successful outcome in this new clinic at Moffitt. Since this is a new and perhaps unique concept, there will be areas where your feedback will help us make improvements.