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December 1961

A Report of Malignant Melanoma of the Skin in Sisters

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, U.S. Naval Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(6):1024-1025. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580180140021

In 1952 Cawley1 reported on the genetic aspects of malignant melanoma. He pointed out the definite experimental and clinical evidence of melanoma in animals. He reviewed the few reported cases of malignant melanoma of the eye in humans which had significant genetic factors. He then proceeded to describe the only 3 recorded cases of cutaneous malignant melanoma which offer presumptive evidence of a genetic background. Fitzpatrick1 in discussing Cawley's paper felt sure it would stimulate physicians to search for and report other instances of familial malignant melanoma of the skin. There have been no subsequent reports in the American literature. In the European literature Von Greifelt2 calls attention to 2 cases, father and son, who were observed by Scheurmann in 1945 and to the 6 cases from the 3 family trees reported in discussion of Cawley's paper by Fitzpatrick1 and Winer.1

Within the last 2 years, 2 cases of cutaneous malignant melanoma in sisters

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