Alistar Cochran

Alistair Cochran, MD

Professor, Department of Surgery, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Physician, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Surgical Pathology, Dermatopathology, Department of Surgery, Surgical Oncology





Institutional Affiliation

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center



Immunology and Tumor Biology, Karolinska Institute, 1969 - 1971
Surgical Pathology, Western Infirmary, 1966 - 1969
Hematology, Western Infirmary, 1966 - 1967
Internal Medicine, Western Infirmary, 1963 - 1965


Rotating Internship, Western Infirmary, 1959 - 1961


MD, University of Glasgow Faculty of Medicine, 1959


Pathology, Western Infirmary, 1961 - 1966

Contact Information


(310) 794-7788 - Surgery patient appointments
(310) 206-6909 - Surgical Oncology information and referral
(310) 206-6931 - Surgical Oncology follow-up appointments
(310) 825-2644 - Surgical Oncology referring physician
(310) 794-9450 - Dermatopathology and Surgical Pathology information and referral
(310) 267-2680 - Dermatopathology referring physician

Scientific Interests

Dr. Alistair Cochran is primarily interested in the pathology of the skin with a focus on diseases and tumors of the melanocytes: nevi and melanomas. His secondary interests include the pathology of diseases of the breast and lung. His research interests include the elucidation of mechanisms of metastasis as a basis for the development of new and better approaches to the prevention and treatment of metastases in melanoma and breast cancer.

Cochran has developed the concepts that led to the highly successful and popular techniques of lymphatic mapping and sentinel node dissection. He continues to investigate the pathobiology of the sentinel node, looking particularly at the extent of (tumor-induced) immune modulation of antigen presentation and the possibility of reversing that immune alteration as a basis for therapy to prevent or destroy metastases. Additional interests include techniques for the assessment of prognosis for melanoma patients on an individual basis.

Highlighted Publications

Cochran AJ, Huang RR, Lee J, Itakura E, Leong SP, Essner R. Tumour-induced immune modulation of sentinel lymph nodes. Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Sep;6(9):659-70. Review.

Cochran AJ, Starz H, Ohsie SJ, Sarantopoulos GP, Haas CJ, Binder S. Pathologic reporting and special diagnostic techniques for melanoma. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2006 Apr;15(2):231-51. Review.

Morton DL, Thompson JF, Cochran AJ, Mozzillo N, Elashoff R, Essner R, Nieweg OE, Roses DF, Hoekstra HJ, Karakousis CP, Reintgen DS, Coventry BJ, Glass EC, Wang HJ; MSLT Group. Sentinel-node biopsy or nodal observation in melanoma. N Engl J Med. 2006 Sep 28;355(13):1307-17. Erratum in: N Engl J Med. 2006 Nov 2;355(18):1944.

Morton DL, Cochran AJ, Thompson JF, Elashoff R, Essner R, Glass EC, Mozzillo N, Nieweg OE, Roses DF, Hoekstra HJ, Karakousis CP, Reintgen DS, Coventry BJ, Wang HJ; Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial Group. Sentinel node biopsy for early-stage melanoma: accuracy and morbidity in MSLT-I, an international multicenter trial. Ann Surg. 2005 Sep;242(3):302-11; discussion 311-3.

Cochran AJ, Wen DR, Huang RR, Wang HJ, Elashoff R, Morton DL. Prediction of metastatic melanoma in nonsentinel nodes and clinical outcome based on the primary melanoma and the sentinel node. Mod Pathol. 2004 Jul;17(7):747-55.