To evaluate the effectiveness of radiosurgery without whole brain radiotherapy in the palliative treatment of melanoma brain metastases, we retrospectively assessed the results in 35 patients: 4 with a solitary brain metastasis, 13 with a single brain metastasis and metastases elsewhere and 18 with multiple brain metastases. The local control rate was 98.2% (55/56 metastases) at 3 months. Median survival was 22 months in patients with a solitary brain metastasis, 7.5 months in patients with a single brain metastasis and metastases elsewhere, and 4 months in patients with multiple brain metastases. Complications were unusual and surgery was required in 2 of 35 patients. These results show for the first time that melanoma patients with a unique brain metastasis with or without metastases elsewhere clearly benefit from tumour control easily obtained by radiosurgery. Although the comparison of radiosurgery with surgery and/or whole brain radiotherapy cannot be adequately addressed, radiosurgery alone seems to provide similar results with lower morbidity and impact on quality of life.