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Childhood Melanoma Treatment

Our Treatment Approach

The experts at MD Anderson's Children's Cancer Hospital take a personalized approach to your child's treatment. Drawing upon a range of the most-advanced treatment options, your child's care team works together closely and with you to determine the best course of action. This helps increase your child's opportunity for successful treatment.

Each child's case is managed by an interdisciplinary team that may include oncologists, surgical oncologists and radiation oncologists. They are supported by a highly trained team of nurses, physician's assistants, therapists and social workers.

Melanoma is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of cancer. The molecular and cellular changes are different for each person. If pediatric melanoma is caught early, it is highly treatable.

Leading-edge Options

Surgery is almost always part of the treatment for pediatric melanoma. Because Children's Cancer Hospital leads one of the most active pediatric melanoma treatment programs in the nation, our surgeons have extraordinary expertise and experience that can help increase your child's chances for successful treatment.

Several innovative treatments for pediatric melanoma are offered at Children's Cancer Hospital. We offer a range of clinical trials, some of them available only here.

If your child has been diagnosed with melanoma or your child’s doctor suspects your child may have melanoma, we can help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Our Pediatric Melanoma Treatments

If your child is diagnosed with pediatric melanoma, the doctor will discuss the best ways to treat it. This depends on several factors, including if the cancer has spread.
Your child’s treatment for melanoma will be customized to your child’s particular needs. One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat the cancer or help relieve symptoms.


The main treatment for pediatric melanoma is surgery to remove the tumor. The type and extent of surgery depends on the size and location of the melanoma and if it has spread.

Early pediatric melanomas usually don’t need further treatment after surgical removal. After surgery, your child will need to have check-ups to be sure the cancer has not returned.

If the melanoma is more advanced, a sentinel node biopsy may be done during surgery.

Lymph nodes are olive-sized glands that are part of the lymphatic system that circulates lymph fluid throughout the body. The lymphatic system also can carry cancer cells from the tumor site to other areas of the body. In a sentinel lymph node biopsy, a radioactive blue dye is injected into the area before surgery. The dye shows up in cancerous lymph nodes. The node with the highest amount of blue dye is the “sentinel” node. The surgeon removes all nodes with blue dye.


Chemotherapy may be used after surgery for some advanced pediatric melanomas. Children’s Cancer Hospital offers the most up-to-date and advanced chemotherapy options.

Targeted Therapies

Treatment with these innovative agents may be needed in advanced pediatric melanomas. They are specially designed to treat each child’s specific cancer and its genetic/molecular profile to help the patient’s body fight the disease. Many of the doctors at Children’s Cancer Hospital are dedicated researchers who have pioneered and actively lead national and international clinical trials with novel targeted agents.

Our Clinical Trials

Because of our association with one of the world’s premier cancer centers, Children’s Cancer Hospital participates in many clinical trials (research studies) for pediatric melanoma. These include studies of the Children’s Oncology Group, as well as clinical trials found at only a few institutions in the world.

Sometimes these innovative treatments are your child’s best option for treatment.

To find out more about clinical trials at Children’s Cancer Hospital for pediatric melanoma, visit our Clinical Trials database or speak to your doctor.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center