Understanding and coping with a new melanoma diagnosis, or melanoma recurrence, can be frightening and overwhelming.

AIM’s “Ask a Medical Expert” was created to help individuals understand their melanoma diagnosis, its implications, and how to approach and navigate their situation.

Melissa Wilson, PA-C, MPAS, leads AIM’s “Ask a Medical Expert” program and is AIM’s resident melanoma medical expert.  Wilson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, and boundless enthusiasm for the industry – and her patients.

A natural trailblazer, Wilson is proud of her collaborative work as an NCCPA-certified physician assistant senior since 2005 with the distinguished melanoma specialist Dr. John Kirkwood at the University of Pittsburgh in the Cancer Institute Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine. Their treatment and research initiatives were so successful that they have been used as a template for other cancer programs throughout the country. Wilson works as lead physician assistant for the Melanoma Program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Her expertise is focused on acute care in outpatient oncology with research patients and the general melanoma population. She helps patients manage therapy-driven toxicity-related problems and emergencies. She has expertise in biopsies and suturing techniques; cryotherapy; injections; imaging reviews; clinical trial monitoring; and RECIST tumor measurements.

A natural teacher, Wilson has also worked with a multidisciplinary team on patient education and collaboration. She holds appointments at Chatham University Clinical Preceptor where she is adjunct faculty and is a cancer care modules lecturer on melanoma since 2013.

Inspired to her career by her own father’s battle with cancer (he is doing well!), Wilson says she will never stop wanting to help patients fight melanoma. She also feels confident that a cure is on the horizon given that melanoma treatments have grown exponentially over the last few years.

Wilson is a native of Pennsylvania and has her master’s degree from Chatham University in physician assistant studies (MPAS), and PA-C (certified in Pennsylvania).

From the Clinic to the Living Room Webinars

From the Clinic to the Living Room brings clarity to melanoma’s complexity, designed to help us all better understand melanoma.

Melissa Wilson, PA-C, MPAS, Melanoma Lead with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and AIM at Melanoma Foundation’s medical expert, explores everything you need to know – from melanoma screening and prevention, how to handle a melanoma diagnosis, understanding one’s treatment options, and far, far more – all brought to you by AIM at Melanoma Foundation.

We also hope that Melissa’s new informational video series, Melanoma 101,” empowers you with a new understanding of melanoma that will inform and change your perspective on the disease.

2022 Webinars

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR Using ctDNA as a Biomarker for Melanoma

On Wednesday, October 19th, Melissa Wilson, PA-C, MPAS, welcomed Dr. Andrew S. Poklepovic for a 30-minute discussion about ctDNA.

Discussion topics included:

  • What is ctDNA?
  • How is this test performed?
  • What information can be gathered from this test?
  • How is this currently being utilized in melanoma?
  • How do you see this being used in the future with melanoma?

About our guest:

Dr. Poklepovic serves as assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU Massey Cancer Center and is a Harrison Endowed Scholar at the VCU School of Medicine. He is also the medical director for the Massey Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office and an associate member of the Massey Cancer Center Developmental Therapeutics Program for the Department of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Poklepovic is a medical oncologist at Massey Cancer Center and practices at the Dalton Oncology Clinic and Stony Point Clinic. His research interests include melanoma, cutaneous oncology, squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, liver carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and early-phase clinical trials.

He has co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and is a member of HCRN’s Melanoma Clinical Trial Working Group. Dr. Poklepovic gave an inspiring TedxRVA talk several years ago that highlights how advances in cancer research have led to transformative change in treatment options and outcomes for patients.

Educational Background:

  • Medical School: University of South Florida College of Medicine
  • Residency: VCU Medical Center, Internal Medicine, Chief Resident
  • Fellowship: VCU Medical Center, Hematology/Oncology

To view past patient education webinars, please click HERE.