Meet Dr. Arthur FrankelMelanoma Specialist in Dallas

Arthur Frankel, M.D., has spent more than 35 years leading research and clinical programs to treat a variety of cancers, at a wide range of prestigious cancer centers and institutes.

When he joined UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2013, he chose to focus most of his clinical practice on one cancer: melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer and a special concern for people who live in Dallas and surrounding areas.

“The incidence of melanoma in North Texas is among the highest in the world, second only to Australia,” Dr. Frankel says. And nationwide, the rates of melanoma are going up. “Right now, 1 in 50 people are going to get melanoma,” he says, “but in 20 years it will be 1 in 25.”

Despite the growing prevalence of melanoma, Dr. Frankel says the outlook has never been better for his patients, thanks to a wealth of new treatment options.

“Many patients can live for many years, even with metastatic melanoma,” he says. “It doesn’t have the same prognosis that it once did, even as recently as seven years ago. And there are new developments all the time.”

Among those developments are targeted therapies, or drugs that target the abnormal aspects of tumor cells without harming normal cells, and immunotherapy, which uses drugs to stimulate a patient’s immune system to fight cancer cells.

As the head of UT Southwestern’s Phase 1 clinical trials unit, Dr. Frankel helps test the latest melanoma therapies. The clinical trials program allows patients at UT Southwestern access to these new advances long before they are available to the general public.

“At UT Southwestern we have a number of new treatments that are not available anywhere else in North Texas – and are available at only a few places in the country,” he says.

Dr. Frankel feels strongly that patients who have been diagnosed with melanoma should see a melanoma specialist to make sure they are getting the latest available treatment.

“We have an integrated melanoma treatment team at UT Southwestern,” he says. “We meet every week to review the care plans of all our melanoma patients. Our team includes dermatologists, surgeons, radiation therapists, and scientists, so that we can choose the very best care possible for each patient. I want everyone in our community who has this diagnosis to take advantage of that level of care.”