May 1973

Surgical Treatment of Stage I Melanoma

Author Affiliations

Dover, Del

Arch Surg. 1973;106(5):740. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350170100029

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To the Editor.—The commentary by Drs. Dellon and Ketcham concerning "Surgical Treatment of Melanoma" published in this issue of the Archives (see page 738) reexamines the problem of the surgical approach to resectable melanoma with reference to whether wide resection is sufficient or whether elective regional lymphadenectomy must also be accomplished. We all agree with the inadequacies of retrospective studies, which unfortunately are the basic material for most of the literature concerning this problem. The need for a large-scale prospective study has long been recognized, and I certainly share the onus of not initiating such a study among the military as much as anyone. Such a series must be large enough to have statistically significant numbers of patients in each of the surgical categories after subdividing the categories by pathologic stage (the level or depth of infiltration) and by the clinical and pathologic status of the lymph nodes. Several

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