for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at Orange, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Jeremy Harris
Headshot of Jeremy Harris
Jeremy Harris



Patients with a primary invasive melanoma are recommended to undergo excision of the primary lesion with a wide margin. There is evidence that less radical margins of excision may be just as safe. This is a randomised controlled trial of 1 cm versus 2 cm margin of excision of the primary lesion for adult patients with stage II primary invasive cutaneous melanomas (AJCC 8th edition) to determine differences in disease-free survival. A reduction in margins is expected to improve patient quality of life.

Official Title

Melanoma Margins Trial-II - A Phase III, Multi-centre Randomised Controlled Trial Investigating 1cm v 2cm Wide Surgical Excision Margins for AJCC Stage II Primary Cutaneous Melanoma (02.18 MelMarT-II)


This study will determine whether there is a difference in disease-free survival rates for patients with primary cutaneous melanoma with Breslow thickness > 2mm or 1-2mm with ulceration (pT2b-pT4b, AJCC 8th edition), treated with either a 1cm excision margin or 2cm margin. The study is designed to be able to prove or disprove that there is no difference in risk of the tumour recurring around the scar or anywhere else in the body between the two groups of patients. If the study shows no risk of tumour recurrence then we will also be able to determine how much of an impact the narrower excision has on patients in terms of improved quality of life and reduced side effects from the surgery and melanoma disease. This trial will also evaluate and determine the economic impact of narrower excision margins on the health services and society in general.


Cutaneous Melanoma, Stage II, Malignant, Melanoma, Cancer, Surgery, Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma, Skin Neoplasms, Wide Local Excision = 1cm Margin, Wide Local Excision = 2cm Margin


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  1. Patients must have a stage II primary invasive cutaneous melanoma with Breslow thickness >2mm without ulceration), or >1mm (with ulceration only) (pT2b-pT4b, AJCC 8th edition) as determined by diagnostic biopsy (narrow excision, incision or punch biopsy) and subsequent histopathological analysis.
  2. Must have a primary melanoma that is cutaneous (including head, neck, trunk, extremity, scalp, palm or sole).
  3. An uninterrupted 2cm margin must be technically feasible around biopsy scar or primary melanoma.
  4. Surgery (which refers to the staging sentinel node biopsy and wide local excision as these are both to be done on the same day) must be completed within 120 days of the original diagnosis.
  5. Patients must be 18 years or older at time of consent.
  6. Patient must be able to give informed consent and comply with the treatment protocol and follow-up plan.
  7. Life expectancy of at least 5 years from the time of diagnosis, not considering the melanoma in question, as determined by the PI.
  8. Patients must have an ECOG performance score between 0 and 1.
  9. A survivor of prior cancer is eligible provided that ALL of the following criteria are met and documented:
    • The patient has undergone potentially curative therapy for all prior malignancies,
    • There has been no evidence of recurrence of any prior malignancies for at least FIVE years (except for successfully treated cervical or non-melanoma skin cancer with no evidence of recurrence), and
    • The patient is deemed by their treating physician to be at low risk of recurrence from previous malignancies.

You CAN'T join if...

Patients will be excluded from the study for ANY of the following reasons:

  1. Uncertain diagnosis of melanoma i.e. so-called 'melanocytic lesion of unknown malignant potential'.
  2. Patient has already undergone wide local excision at the site of the primary index lesion.
  3. Patient unable or ineligible to undergo staging sentinel lymph node biopsy of the primary index lesion.
  4. Desmoplastic or neurotropic melanoma: with any patient where pathology determines melanoma as PURE desmoplastic (as per WHO definition of >90% desmoplasia), they are not eligible for this study. However other desmoplasia or mixed subtypes are eligible unless there is neurotropism present (peri-neural invasion).Peri-neural invasion does not include entrapment of nerves within the main primary tumour mass. Microsatellitosis as per AJCC 8th edition definition
  5. Subungual melanoma
  6. Patient has already undergone a local flap reconstruction of the defect after excision of the primary and determination of an accurate excision margin is impossible.
  7. History of previous or concurrent (i.e., second primary) invasive melanoma.
  8. Melanoma located distal to the metacarpophalangeal joint; on the tip of the nose; the eyelids or on the ear; genitalia, perineum or anus; mucous membranes or internal viscera.
  9. Physical, clinical, radiographic or pathologic evidence of satellite, in-transit, regional, or distant metastatic melanoma.
  10. Patient has undergone surgery on a separate occasion to clear the lymph nodes of the probable draining lymphatic field, including sentinel lymph node biopsy, of the index melanoma.
  11. Any additional solid tumour or hematologic malignancy during the past 5 years except T1 skin lesions of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or uterine/cervical cancer.
  12. Melanoma-related operative procedures not corresponding to criteria described in the protocol.
  13. Planned adjuvant radiotherapy to the primary melanoma site after Wide Local Excision is not permitted as part of the protocol and any patients given this treatment would be excluded from the study.
  14. History of organ transplantation.
  15. Oral or parenteral immunosuppressive agents (not topical or inhaled steroids) at enrolment or within 6 months prior to enrolment.

Pregnancy is not a specific exclusion criterion for this trial, though it may not be clinically appropriate to perform a wide excision and sentinel node biopsy until the pregnancy has been completed, which is likely to exclude the patient due to violation of inclusion criterion 4. We would advise careful counselling of the patient prior to enrolling the patient, which would include a discussion at the treating centre's multidisciplinary team meeting or tumour board. We would strongly advise contacting the central trial office to discuss the case prior to enrolling on the study.


  • UC Irvine Health - Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center accepting new patients
    Orange California 92868 United States
  • The Angeles (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and its Affiliates) accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90048-1804 United States

Lead Scientist at UC Irvine

  • Jeremy Harris
    Assistant Clinical Professor, Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 39 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Limited
Phase 3 Skin Cancer/Melanoma Research Study
Study Type
Expecting 2998 study participants
Last Updated