While many solid tumors have been reported to contain stem cell-like cells termed cancer stem cells, the case for a melanoma stem cell has been debated over the last few years. Herein, we summarize current knowledge of melanoma-initiating cells and provide an update on recently gained knowledge regarding cancer stem cells and melanoma. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011;103:555–557. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.