The prospects for the treatment of metastatic melanoma are improving. Whereas previous scientific meetings dedicated to the treatment of metastatic melanoma patients were overshadowed by our inability to improve overall survival or lengthen the time to progression, the results presented at the most recent meetings are hopeful. The 5th Canadian Melanoma Conference held on 24-27 February in Banff (AB, Canada) was nothing short of optimistic. This year's meeting was divided into three themes: basic science and pathology, dermatology and surgery, and immunology and systemic treatment. In addition, dermoscopy case studies were presented, and Hoffmann la Roche sponsored a symposium on the evaluation of treatment for advanced melanoma. It underscored the importance of early detection and patient stratification, based upon the molecular profile of the tumor, in order to optimize the response to targeted therapy.