Background. In 1998, 41,600 new cases of melanoma with 7,300 deaths were expected. Worldwide, the incidence has risen 5% a year against a backdrop of generally decreasing cancer trends. Later stages of melanoma carry a severe prognosis. The need for newer, more effective therapeutic strategies for cancer is obvious. For melanoma, early diagnosis and surgical treatment are the only options that are currently curative. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are of limited efficacy. Methods. We reviewed the various forms of immunotherapy, concentrating on vaccine therapy. We then reviewed the history of our own vaccine in the context of the field of immunotherapy, and compared efficacy, immune response, production methods, and survival. Results. Survival is improved among recipients of melanoma vaccine when compared with patients receiving conventional therapy. Conclusions. Immunotherapy in the form of melanoma vaccines is better than conventional therapy and is trending toward purer antigenic preparations.