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August 16, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(7):376. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480330030003

One of the most interesting and important histologic studies of carcinoma of recent date is the one by Walther Petersen1 concerning processes of healing in carcinomas. Petersen was greatly impressed with the frequency that giant cells occur in carcinomas of the skin, and this led to a closer study of their significance. In 300 carcinomas of the skin examined cursorily giant cells occurred in 30, but in 120 carcinomas examined in serial sections 29 were found to contain giant cells, frequently in large numbers and often grouped in an interesting and suggestive manner about alveoli that had undergone more or less complete cornification. But many giant cells also occurred isolated. From the standpoint of histogenesis Petersen divides the giant cells of carcinoma into those of epithelial, connective tissue and muscle origin. The first two are the most frequent, the third occurring where muscular tissue is undergoing disintegration from the