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Sept 11, 1967

Malignant Metastatic Melanoma in Childhood

Author Affiliations

San Diego, Calif

JAMA. 1967;201(11):896. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130110122053

To the Editor:—  Malignant melanoma with metastases is rare in children. In the recent review of the literature by Skov-Jensen et al1 only 43 cases were found. They added two of their own, bringing the total to 45.There have been other reports of malignant melanoma (without metastases) in children, but many were probably benign "juvenile melanomas." This confusion of a malignant with a benign nonmetastasizing disease of similar histologic appearance accounts for the supposedly good prognosis of malignant melanomas prior to puberty.This letter describes the 46th case of metastatic malignant melanoma in a child.

Report of a Case:—  A 10-year-old boy had a mole removed from the base of the left side of his neck, near the midline posteriorly, in June 1965. It had grown rapidly and started to bleed. Grossly it resembled a pyogenic granuloma. Its histologic appearance was variously interpreted by pathologists as that of a