Cutaneous Oncology Center and Melanoma Program

Under the direction of the Department of Dermatology and Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Cutaneous Oncology Center is an interdisciplinary center staffed by faculty from dermatology, medical oncology, and surgical oncology. Our multidisciplinary team works as an integrated group to determine individualized treatment plans and coordinate clinical trials to validate new therapies. This comprehensive center offers patient education, screening, diagnoses, follow-up and all available treatment options for all types of skin cancers. The specialty’s best physicians have come together to pursue new discoveries and deliver world-class care.

Cutaneous malignancies are the most common malignancies in the United States and represent a major health problem both for morbidity and quality of life. Overall, our program aims to link the clinical activities in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers with laboratory-based and epidemiologic efforts aimed at prevention, improved diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases.

The UConn School of Medicine and Health Center has three nationally-recognized physicians in dermatology and dermatopathology, with an expertise and research focus in cutaneous oncology: Jane Grant-Kels, M.D., Michael Murphy, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., M.Med.Sc., and Philip Kerr, M.D. Due to their training and expertise, the clinical program has become a center of excellence in the management and care of patients with skin cancers, including melanoma, pigmented lesions and atypical moles.

This program is the only site in Connecticut where patients with atypical moles can obtain total body digital imaging to capture digital images of these lesions. This program also provides epiluminescent microscopy to enhance in vivo evaluation of pigmented lesions. Due to the expertise in dermatopathology, any lesions biopsied are evaluated in our highly respected dermatopathology laboratory in the UConn Dermatology Department.

Patients with high risk melanomas are seen collaboratively by a multidisciplinary team including dermatologists, Jane Grant-Kels, M.D., and Philip Kerr, M.D.; an oncologist, Upendra Hegde, M.D.; and when needed a cutaneous oncologic surgeon, James Whalen, M.D., or Hanspaul Makkar, M.D.

Following this multidisciplinary clinic, a conference is held with the dermatologists, oncologist and surgical oncologist. This approach provides a multidisciplinary approach in a “one-stop” visit to enhance the care for patients.