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December 4, 1948


Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich.

From the Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich.

JAMA. 1948;138(14):1026-1029. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900140018004

The treatment of malignant melanoblastomas presents a discouraging and difficult problem. The mortality rate is notoriously high and the results of treatment uniformly poor.

The physician who seeks to increase his knowledge of the melanotic tumors is confronted by a large volume of interesting but confusing literature. We have learned a great deal about these tumors through clinical experience. An enormous amount of investigation has also been carried out in regard to the related developmental, cytologic, genetic, endocrinologic, chemical and physical aspects of pigment cell activity. So urgent was the need for correlating this basic knowledge that a conference was recently held to discuss all the various aspects of the "Biology of Normal and Atypical Pigment Cell Growth."1 This historic meeting, in which many of the pioneers and leaders of current thought in this field participated, stands as a milestone in efforts to understand and combat these complex lesions.

 The Biology of Melanomas , vol. 4, New York, The New York Academy of Sciences, 1948.
MacDonald, E. J.: Malignant Melanoma in Connecticut, in footnote 1, p. 71.
Masson, P.:  Les naevi pigmentaires, tumeurs nerveuses ,  Ann. d'anat. path. 3: 417, 1926.
Pack, G. T.:  Prepubertal Melanoma of Skin ,  Surg., Gynec. & Obst. 86: 374, 1948.
de Cholnoky, T.:  Malignant Melanoma: A Clinical Study of One Hundred and Seventeen Cases ,  Ann. Surg. 113: 392, 1941.
Pack, G. T.: A Clinical Study of Pigmented Nevi and Melanomas, in footnote 1, p. 61.
Handley, W. S.:  The Hunterian Lectures on the Pathology of Melanotic Growths in Relation to Their Operative Treatment ,  Lancet 1: 927 and 996, 1907.
Pack, G. T.; Scharnagel, I., and Marfet, M.:  The Principle of Excision and Dissection in Continuity for Primary and Metastatic Melanoma of Skin ,  Surgery 17:849, 1945.
Pack, G. T.; Ehrlich, H. E., and Gentil, F. de C.:  Radical Amputations of the Extremities in the Treatment of Cancer ,  Surg., Gynec. & Obst. 84: 1105, 1947.