Moffitt Named Melanoma Center of Excellence

January 10, 2007

Tampa, FL-- H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute’s Cutaneous Oncology Program has been recognized as one of the first top ten Melanoma Centers of Excellence named by the Melanoma Hope Network. The network works to recognize melanoma treatment centers across the United States that offer exceptional care, knowledge and compassion to patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma.

“We are particularly pleased to receive this designation because it recognizes the contributions and collaborations of all the members of the Cutaneous Program - dermatologists, pathologists, surgeons and medical and radiation oncologists – that have to work together in a Melanoma Center of Excellence,” said Dr. Vernon Sondak, program leader of the Cutaneous Oncology Program. “We think this is just the beginning of what we can achieve as a group, and the better we work together the better it is for our melanoma patients and our patients with other skin cancers.”

The program’s comprehensive care at Moffitt includes the latest investigational treatments for melanoma. Program physicians have been pioneers in developing and defining the role of lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy for staging of patients with clinically negative nodes, as well as investigating adjuvant therapy for both node-negative and node-positive patients. Surgical treatment of selected patients with in-transit and metastatic melanoma also is a fundamental part of the approach to patients with more advanced disease.

Moffitt continues to lead the way in melanoma treatment with the recruitment of Dr. Jeffrey Weber from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The internationally-renowned melanoma medical oncologist, tumor immunologist and clinical and translational researcher will join the Cutaneous Oncology Program in June.

Also, the Cutaneous Oncology Clinic at Moffitt will expand and move to new quarters when the West Clinic expansion is complete. The new facility, specifically designed to meet the needs of melanoma and skin cancer patients, is expected to open in February.

Located in Tampa, Florida on the University of South Florida campus, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute ( is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 16 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.