UI Hospitals and Clinics

Melanoma Program

A lot has happened in the world of melanoma research in the last five years. New drugs. New treatments. New therapies. It's a lot to keep straight.

Our physicians are also researchers, and they are helping find some of the new and innovative treatments and therapies for melanoma. They know the newest, most effective treatments for your specific cancer. As part of a nationally recognized cancer center, they specialize in melanoma, so they know it inside and out.

Our entire team is dedicated to taking care of you, not just your melanoma.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Melanoma and Sarcoma Tissue Repository: We collect melanoma tissue samples (cancer cells) and patient information that allow scientists to do research projects. This is an invaluable tool, allowing us to further our knowledge of how melanoma works and helps us develop new treatment options.
  • Our clinical trials give you early access to the most recent, advanced treatment options. This may include drugs not yet on the market and other treatments under development that have the potential to increase survival rates and improve quality of life.
  • Our Melanoma Follow-Up Clinic sees patients once they are stable and maintaining their health, and a Dermatology Clinic that specializes in screening patients who are at high risk for melanoma.
  • We are the only place in the state to offer Mohs surgery for thin, noninvasive melanoma (hasn't spread from its original location), for those cases in need of tissue sparing.
  • New infusion suite designed with patients in mind. Our infusion suite was designed with patient input to create a comfortable, welcoming environment for chemotherapy treatments. Take our virtual tour.
  • We are a member of the Midwest Melanoma Partnership, giving you access to even more clinical trials and research knowledge through our partner institutions.

Team-based Cancer Care for You

We bring experts from different fields of medicine to work together as a team called a multidisciplinary oncology group. Because many patients require more than one form of treatment, our team meets regularly to discuss the best course of treatment and works together to design the best personalized plan for every patient. The team includes radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, social workers, pathologists, pharmacists, nurses, and laboratory-based scientists.

Our team of specialists focuses not just on melanoma, but on your melanoma. That means our team of experts will design a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs and will walk you through everything you need to know, including symptoms, treatments, and prognosis.

"Comprehensive" NCI Designation

Patients treated at NCI-designated cancer centers have better survival outcomes than patients treated at non–NCI-designated cancer centers, according to a recent study published in the journal Cancer. Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa is the only institution in Iowa to hold the prestigious designation of being a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), meaning we are rated in the top 4 percent of the approximately 1,500 cancer centers in the United States.

To be considered a "comprehensive" center means our teams have expertise in clinical, laboratory, and population-based research. Our doctors and staff are on top of the newest developments in cancer research, treatment, and diagnosis.

The Power of Clinical Trials and Research

This is an exciting time in the world of melanoma research. Since 2011, nearly a dozen new drugs have been approved for melanoma treatment, and more are likely coming. Our physicians are knee-deep in this research, and they understand these new developments.

Clinical trials is where research meets patient care. Clinical trials are research studies that test out the latest treatments and drugs that are not yet available to the wider public. These new treatments have the potential to improve your quality of life or increase your chances of survival.

Enrolling soon: An exiting new study will be testing an anti-PD-1 drug called Pembrolizumab, which may have the potential to reduce the risk of recurrence after surgery.

See all of the clinical trials at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in the effort to control and ultimately cure cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

About Melanoma

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. While most melanomas occur on the skin, they can be found in other parts of the body, including the eye, mouth, liver, vagina, and colon.

If melanoma is found and treated in its early stages, the chances of recovery are very good. If it is not found early, melanoma can grow deeper into the skin and spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment plans may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy (biological therapy): works to boost, direct, or restore your body's natural defenses against disease
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

Watch the video below to learn about how melanoma starts, spreads, and is diagnosed.


Melanoma Multidisciplinary Team (Melanoma MOG)

Medical Oncology

Surgical Oncology


Surgical Dermatology Oncology

Diagnostic Radiologist


Radiation Oncology

Research Team


Physician Assistant

Research Team

  • Frederick Domann, MD
  • Michael Henry, MD

Physician Assistant

  • Michele Freesmeier, PA-C