Human melanomas contain a population of tumor-initiating cells that are able to maintain the growth of the tumor. We previously showed that the embryonic transcription factor SOX2 is essential for self-renewal and tumorigenicity of human melanoma-initiating cells. However, targeting a transcription factor is still challenging. Gentian violet (GV) is a cationic triphenylmethane dye with potent antifungal and antibacterial activity. Recently, a combination therapy of imiquimod and GV has shown an inhibitory effect against melanoma metastases.