Desmoplastic Melanoma

Desmoplastic melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It begins when the melanocytes in the skin grow out of control and form tumors. Melanocytes are the cells responsible for making melanin, the pigment that determines the color of the skin.

Desmoplastic melanoma is a rare form of the disease that accounts for around 4 percent of all skin melanomas. The main sign of desmoplastic melanoma is a spot that may look like a scar in texture and appearance. It tends to develop on the face, scalp, neck, and sun-exposed areas of the arms and legs. The spot can be any color but is most often pink or red.

Treatment for Desmoplastic Melanoma

Desmoplastic melanoma is highly curable when diagnosed early. The goals for treatment of desmoplastic melanoma are to:

  • cure the cancer
  • preserve the appearance of your skin
  • prevent the cancer from coming back

The extent and depth of the melanoma guides your care plan. Treatment often involves surgery to remove the melanoma. MSK doctors have particular expertise in removing these cancers, which usually occur in important and sensitive areas of the body.

If the melanoma is more advanced and has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes or internal organs, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or a combination of therapies may be used to shrink the tumor.

Learn more about melanoma treatment.