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September 1973

Long Survival in Metastatic Melanoma

Arch Surg. 1973;107(3):492. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350210116032

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To the Editor.—In the February issue of the Archives (106:234, 1973), Drs. Huffman and Sterin describe an interesting case of ten-year survival of melanoma with multiple operations. In Military Medicine (129:297, 1964) I described a series of melanoma cases, including one with follow-up of 13 years from original surgery of right lower ear resection and right radical neck dissection. Eight years later a left thoracotomy and wedge resection of the left upper lobe was done for a recurrence. Several months later a right thoracotomy and resection of mediastinal metastasis was done. Thirteen years after the original surgery the patient was well with no clinical evidence of disease.

I agree with the conclusions of Drs. Huffman and Sterin that this type of case would indicate the possibility of an "immune mechanism." I also feel that it indicates the need for an aggressive attitude in the treatment of recurrences.

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