Newswise — (Baltimore, MD) -- Mercy Medical Center has announced the opening of The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy.  The Center offers comprehensive care and leading edge treatment options for skin cancers including advanced-stage melanoma. Mercy's team of dermatologists, oncologists, pathologists and plastic surgeons applies a highly coordinated approach to treating skin cancers.

The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy offers treatment for any type of skin cancer from common, slow-growing abnormalities to more advanced, late-stage cancers. 

Leading surgical oncologist Dr. Vadim Gushchin, Director of The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy, has assembled a team of Board Certified specialists who are committed to providing the best treatment options for melanoma and skin cancer patients.

Multidisciplinary Approach - Essential to Treating Skin Cancer

Some skin cancers, melanoma in particular, require multidisciplinary care as well as a high degree of coordination between sub-specialists for optimal treatment.

Mercy's dermatologists are seasoned experts, trained to diagnose all types of skin cancer. They work alongside experienced colleagues who can address every angle of treatment for patients in need of the highest level of care. Mercy's robust program includes medical oncologists and surgical oncologists offering the most innovative therapies, dedicated pathologists with advanced training in complex cellular interpretation, and gifted plastic surgeons who use reconstructive techniques to restore confidence and reduce scarring.

Access to Advanced Treatment Options

Mercy's renowned experts provide leading edge treatments to best address aggressive skin cancers. With increasingly rapid progressions in medical science and technology, Mercy specialists share information, conveying recent advances within their respective fields to colleagues with the goal of offering patients the most up-to-date care.

Dr. Vinod Varki offers niche expertise in targeted therapy as well as immunotherapy or biological therapy. These sophisticated treatments attack cancers on a cellular level and offer new hope for patients with late-stage skin cancers.

An innovator and educator in advanced cancer treatments, Dr. Vadim Gushchin is among a select group of physicians to provide isolated limb infusion therapy or isolated limb perfusion, a limb-sparing option for patients who otherwise may lose an arm or leg due to cancer spread. 

Additionally, Mercy participates in ongoing clinical trials to offer patients the very newest treatment options and also support vital research to transform care for skin cancers and melanoma. 

Support Beyond Treatment

Mercy is proud to offer cancer patients ongoing support via a number of programs:

Led by Dr. Vadim Gushchin, the specialists of The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy offer comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers and melanoma:


Medical Oncology/Immunotherapy


Plastic Surgery

Surgical Oncology

The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy offers focused treatment plans to manage a variety of skin abnormalities and cancers including:

Basal Cell Carcinoma  A slow growing skin cancer, typically resulting from sun exposure and often very treatable with minor surgery or topical creams.

Melanoma  Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the most lethal of skin cancers. Early detection and treatment by an experienced team of doctors is crucial.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma  A rare, aggressive form of skin cancer which often requires a multidisciplinary approach for effective treatment.

Sarcoma  A form of cancer that develops in the bones and soft tissues. Sarcomas require a high degree of cooperation among sub-specialists for treatment.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma  A common form of skin cancer that can often be successfully treated with minor surgery or topical creams.

Mercy's multidisciplinary physician team works together to determine the best treatment plans and clinical trials that will benefit patients. Treatment options provided include:

Chemotherapy Mercy's physician team offers many types of chemotherapy drugs including topical chemotherapy creams (applied to the skin) as well as systemic chemotherapy (delivered orally or via injection into the veins) to disrupt and kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with other treatments to manage skin cancers.

Immunotherapy Immunotherapy involves the stimulation of the immune system to attack cancer cells more effectively. New advances in immuno-oncology include new, lower toxicity drugs that can reduce recurrence of skin cancers and melanoma after surgery.

Isolated Limb Infusion / Isolated Limb Perfusion Isolated limb infusion is a state-of-the-art therapy offered at only select institutions. This minimally invasive treatment delivers high dosages of chemotherapy directly to a limb where cancer has developed. Used to treat advanced soft tissue sarcoma and melanoma, isolated limb infusion can be an alternative to amputation, allowing patients to preserve the arm or leg affected by cancer.

Plastic Surgery Reconstructive techniques can be used to close larger wounds, replace skin and reduce scarring for a more natural look at the site where skin cancer has developed.

Radiation Therapy Mercy's experienced radiation oncologists offer IMRT and brachytherapy to treat a variety of skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Surgical oncologists at Mercy perform sentinel lymph node biopsies to help determine cancer spread from the primary site to other areas of the body. This procedure is key to helping doctors understand how invasive the cancer is and how to treat it most effectively.

Surgery Skin cancer may require surgery. Depending of the type of cancer and stage of cancer, surgery may vary from a minor, in-office procedure to a more complex operation to remove the cancer, as well as lymph nodes, followed by reconstructive surgery.

Many skin cancers can be treated in the office with curretage and electrodessication (surgical removal), photodynamic therapy (light therapy) or cryotherapy (freezing off abnormal cells).

Mercy's physician team works closely with local colleagues to provide referrals for Mohs surgery, an in-office procedure in which one layer of skin is removed and immediately examined to determine whether or not additional layers of skin need to be removed during the same visit to fully excise the cancer.

Advanced skin cancers require an experienced surgical oncologist working in collaboration with a team of radiation and medical oncologists to best address the cancer and improve long-term survival.

Research and Clinical Trials

Patients of The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy have access to new treatments via clinical trials. Mercy also offers genetic counseling for patients and their families who may be considered high risk for melanoma.

Founded in 1874 by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility with a national reputation for women's health care. For more information, visit Mercy online at; MDMercyMedia on FACEBOOK and TWITTER; or call 1-800-M.D.-Mercy.



Register for reporter access to contact details