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May 1967

Melanoma as a Medical Problem

Author Affiliations


From the Tumor Therapy Clinic of the Children's Cancer Research Foundation, the departments of medicine (Drs. Nathanson and Hall) and pathology (Drs. Vawter and Farber) of the Children's Hospital Medical Center, the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital, and the Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Intern Med. 1967;119(5):479-492. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00290230117003

Malignant [ALIGNANT melanoma continues to be an enigmatic disease and, judging from the large number of studies in the recent literature,1-10 of wide clinical interest as well. Yet, few authors have attempted to validate clinical description of their cases by statistical methods. Nor has any report appeared detailing results of medical treatment of a large number of patients.

The purpose of this report is to summarize such data on the natural history and therapy of the disease on the basis of 164 patients seen at the Children's Cancer Research Foundation between 1947 and 1966.

Incidence Factors  As reported in the literature, melanoma represents only 1% to 3% of malignant tumors11,12 but an average of 14% of the adult tumor clinic population at the Children's Cancer Research Foundation have this disease.Sixty-seven percent of our patients were observed until death, 24% are alive, and 9% have been lost to