Treatment options for advanced melanoma are limited. PI-88, a potent inhibitor of heparanase, demonstrates anitangiogenic properties and has shown activity against melanoma in phase I studies. This was an open-label, multicenter, phase II study of PI-88 in patients with advanced melanoma. Patients received a fixed-dose of 250 mg/day given subcutaneously for four consecutive days followed by three drug-free days per week in a 28-day cycle. A total of 44 patients were enrolled in the intent to treat population, with 59.1% having received previous therapy. The median time to progression and overall survival was 1.7 months and 9 months, respectively. Forty-one patients are included in the efficacy analysis. One (2.4%) patient achieved a partial response, six (14.6%) patients had stable disease as best response, and 30 (73.2%) had progressive disease. At the end of six cycles of treatment, three of the 41 evaluable patients had non-progressive disease. Treatment was generally well tolerated. Injection site bruising occurred in 45% of patients. Serious bleeding did occur in two patients and three patients developed a positive anti-platelet antibody test during the study. One of these four patients experienced an associated thrombosis. In patients with advanced melanoma, PI-88 demonstrates an overall survival and time to progression similar to standard chemotherapy. Although the current study did not meet the primary end-point of progression free survival of >or=20%, there is some evidence of activity and further investigation is warranted.