[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 1972

Treatment of Malignant MelanomaWide Excision Alone vs Lymphadenectomy

Author Affiliations

USAF, San Antonio, Tex
From the USAF Central Tumor Registry, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Tex.

Arch Surg. 1972;104(4):587-593. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180040201034

A review of 20 years' experience of 640 patients with resectable stage 2 and stage 3 malignant melanoma was made in order to compare lymphadenectomy with wide excision alone. Both modes of therapy showed similar figures for survival and for recurrence. Criteria such as sex, age, site, size, status of lymph nodes, and stage of the primary lesion were compared to determine if preselection had weighted the lymphadenectomy group unfavorably. This turned out not to be the case. A significant finding was that stage per se did not influence prognosis directly. Stage 3 patients were more likely to have metastasized to regional lymph nodes and it was the involvement of the lymph nodes which influenced the prognosis.