The goal of this study was to determine the effect of oral melatonin in divided doses on plasma melatonin levels in patients with metastatic melanoma. Hourly blood samples were obtained from five patients for 24 h prior to melatonin administration and for 24 h during oral administration of melatonin, 50 mg every 4 h. In two of the five patients, the expected nocturnal plasma melatonin peak was observed. Oral melatonin was well absorbed. Plasma melatonin levels exhibited six peaks and troughs, were two to four-fold higher during peaks than troughs, and remained more than 25 times higher than peak pretreatment melatonin levels, even during troughs. Divided oral doses of melatonin were well tolerated and maintained plasma melatonin levels 25-80 times higher than endogenous peak values.