The HER-2/neu proto-oncogene is a useful prognostic and predictive biomarker in breast cancer. In addition, use of a humanized monoclonal antibody against HER-2/neu has recently been shown to have efficacy in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. In order to examine the potential of HER-2/neu as a biomarker and as a target for HER-2/neu monoclonal antibody treatment in melanoma, we examined the HER-2/neu status in 40 advanced stage melanomas. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization for determining the gene amplification status and immunohistochemistry for detecting protein overexpression, we found that only one out of 40 cases of melanoma had an altered HER-2/neu status. These results demonstrated that HER-2/neu amplification and overexpression are not common in advanced stage melanoma and thus, HER-2/neu would have limited value as a biomarker or as a target for immunotherapy in melanoma.