Our Program

Through specialized patient care, medical education and scientific research, the skin cancer program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is dedicated to the treatment and study of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell cancer and liquid tumors such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Our professional staff has special expertise in the treatment of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Although the best treatment is prevention and early detection, we offer treatment options personalized by the level and type of the cancer, including targeted molecular therapy, radiation therapy such as the GammaKnife®, immunotherapy, gene therapy and advanced surgical techniques including Mohs surgery and reconstruction.

Our innovative Mohs surgical technique removes one thin layer of the melanoma at a time. Each “slice” is examined for cancer cells under a microscope until a layer shows no signs of cancer. This enables the surgeon to remove as much of the cancer as possible while conserving the surrounding skin.

Exclusive to USC Norris is the UV dosimeter, a technology we built and patented to measure the amount of sun exposure a patient gets at different times throughout the day and in different locations. This exposure history helps us make accurate prevention recommendations.

We are national leading experts in pioneering breakthroughs in gene therapy, a promising new approach to treating melanoma by adding certain genes to the cancer cells. Several clinical trials to test gene therapy approaches are currently underway. We also have access to new medications that target the molecular basis for basal cell carcinoma.

For more detailed information on skin cancer, click here to view our online health library.

Our Approach

As part of a university-based medical center, we treat some of the most complex cases in the Los Angeles area. Our intention is to cure every patient, and we believe in a thoughtful, accurate, detailed approach that involves truly listening to our patients and discussing your conditions and treatments. At USC Norris, our patients drive the decision-making process.

Our multidisciplinary team approach means that our medical, surgical and radiation cancer specialists are conveniently located in one place, coordinating their combined skills and expertise to deliver your plan of care. Working with you and your doctor, our team will design a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

We take a carefully balanced approach to patient care, integrating clinical research and innovative programs that emphasize maintaining your quality of life. We provide you and your family with access to a comprehensive support staff, including social services, care management, pain management, patient education and an experienced nursing team. Your experience with be facilitated by a patient navigator who assists with coordinating your care.

Your team attends a regularly scheduled patient care conference in which we discuss your individual case. Our specialists are in constant communication, informing each other about the latest research and therapies applicable to your condition. We are constantly in touch with each other, ensuring that we can collaboratively address immediate concerns.

Our Physicians

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Leslie Ballas, MD

Practicing Locations

  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
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Eric Chang, MD

Practicing Locations

  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
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Brittney DeClerck, MD

Practicing Locations

  • Keck Medicine of USC - Pasadena
  • USC Healthcare Center 4
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Gene H. Kim, MD

Practicing Locations

  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • USC Healthcare Center 4
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Niels C. Kokot, MD

Practicing Locations

  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • USC Healthcare Center 2
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
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Alexander Markarian, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Practicing Locations

  • USC Healthcare Center 2
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David Peng, MD, MPH

Practicing Locations

  • Keck Medicine of USC - Pasadena
  • USC Healthcare Center 4
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Jon-Paul Pepper, MD

Practicing Locations

  • USC Healthcare Center 4
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Stephen F. Sener, MD

Practicing Locations

  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • Keck Medicine of USC - Pasadena
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
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Howard Silberman, MD

Practicing Locations

  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
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William W. Tseng, MD

Practicing Locations

  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • LAC+USC Medical Center
  • Other Locations
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Michael K. Wong, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Practicing Locations

  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital