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Notable Notes
July 2017

The Cutaneous Cancer of Ferdinando Orsini, 5th Duke of Gravina

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Paleopathology, Department of Translational Research and of New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • 2U.O.C. Anatomia Patologica, San Salvatore Hospital, L’Aquila, Italy
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(7):643. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1847

The Abbey of Saint Domenico Maggiore in Naples (14th century) holds 37 wooden sarcophagi of several Aragonese kings, princes, and other nobles (15th-16th centuries).1 The preserved, natural mummy of Ferdinando Orsini, 5th Duke of Gravina (who died in 1549), which was in good condition, is in one of the arks. The face was completely skeletonized and covered by a veil that hid a widely destructive lesion of the right orbit and of the root of the nose (Figure). Radiographic examination of the skull confirmed the extensive loss of bone with an osteolytic process involving the entire adjacent bone structures, which appeared rarefied, irregular, and without signs of delimitation.

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