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November 1960

Eleven Years' Experience with Quarterectomy for Malignant Melanoma

Author Affiliations

Memphis, Tenn.
From the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Medical Teaching Group Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1960;81(5):752-756. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300050074014

The postwar enthusiasm for ultraradical surgery in the treatment of unfavorably responding malignant tumors would most certainly include trials for increasing the survival rate in melanoma of the extremities.

It is known that melanoma in children, in young women, and in certain locations—notably, the eye, head, and neck regions—is attended with good survival and cure rates.1 Conversely, it is known that melanoma of the extremity, particuarly if ulcerated, melanoma of the body and trunk, and melanoma arising in a mucous membrane are attended by poor survival and cure rates.2 Melanomatous lesions of the gastrointestinal tract are especially vicious, and no reports of longevity or cures have been presented.3,4 In general, the prognosis for melanoma worsens with age. However, the use of ultraradical surgery had never been tested in melanoma of the extremity except when the lesions were so extensive that life was not compatible or when