Aberrations in gene expression are a hallmark of cancer cells. Differential tumor-specific transcript levels of single genes or whole sets of genes may be critical for the neoplastic phenotype and important for therapeutic considerations or useful as biomarkers. As an approach to filter out such relevant expression differences from the plethora of changes noted in global expression profiling studies, we searched for changes of gene expression levels that are conserved. Transcriptomes from massive parallel sequencing of different types of melanoma from medaka were generated and compared to microarray datasets from zebrafish and human melanoma. This revealed molecular conservation at various levels between fish models and human tumors providing a useful strategy for identifying expression signatures strongly associated with disease phenotypes and uncovering new melanoma molecules.