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April 1974

Choriocarcinoma Metastatic to Skin

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pathology, Ravenswood Hospital, Chicago (Dr. Cosnow) and the Department of Pathology, Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, and the Department of Dermatology, University of Illinois, Chicago (Dr. Fretzin).

Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(4):551-553. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630040057015

A diagnosis of choriocarcinoma was made by the biopsy of a solitary nodule in the scalp of a 29-year-old asymptomatic woman. Choriocarcinoma is a malignant tumor that arises from the fetal trophoblast; it commonly occurs in women after molar pregnancy or miscarriage. Histological findings are the presence of two cell types, cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast, that grow in a plexiform pattern resembling the primitive unbranched chorionic villi of the 13-day ovum. The tumor's ability to secrete chorionic gonadotropin allows a method for follow-up of patients. With the introduction of chemotherapeutic agents, the previously poor prognosis has been reversed with at least 80% of all patients responding to therapy.