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January 21, 1983

Lentigo maligna melanoma yields to radiotherapy

JAMA. 1983;249(3):323-327. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330270007004

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Despite a widespread belief that lentigo maligna melanoma is a radioresistant tumor, therapeutic radiologists at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital are recording better than 90% control of this lesion using conventional orthovoltage (140 to 400 kV) techniques.

Reporting this success rate at the recent meeting of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiologists in Orlando, Fla, radiation oncologist Andrew R. Harwood, MB, said that radiation therapy provides an "excellent cosmetic result" and appears to be the treatment of choice for large lesions beyond the scope of surgery.

Lentigo maligna (Hutchinson's freckle), which characteristically is seen in old age as a slow-growing, pigmented facial lesion, resembles many benign epidermal lesions. Hence, the lesion frequently is not diagnosed until it is quite large, Harwood told JAMA

Untreated, one third to one half of such growths will progress to dermal invasion or lentigo maligna melanoma, and 10% of these invasive tumors will develop regional or