Spectroscopic, photochemical and biological properties of indocyanine green (ICG) are presented. Light over 800 nm is effectively absorbed by ICG. This property as well as photochemical behaviour of ICG make it a very suitable dye for photodynamic treatment of melanoma cells. Cytotoxicity of ICG itself and the effect of photodynamic therapy (PDT) were evaluated by following the growth of human (SKMEL 188) and mouse (S91) melanoma cells. The surviving fraction of the cells irradiated (lambda(ex) = 830 nm) vs non-irradiated, treated with the same dose of ICG, is significantly decreased (5- to 10-fold). These results show that ICG is a very promising dye for photodynamic therapy of melanomas.