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Article
October 1950

PODOPHYLLIN IN THE TREATMENT OF CUTANEOUS CARCINOMA

Author Affiliations

PROVIDENCE, R. I.

From the Department of Dermatology, dermatologist in chief, Dr. Francesco Ronchese; Department of Pathology, director, Dr. Herbert Fanger, and Tumor Clinic of the Rhode Island Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1950;62(4):526-532. doi:10.1001/archderm.1950.01530170052006
Abstract

PODOPHYLLIN (resin of podophyllum N.F.), an extract of the dried rhizome and roots of the May apple, or mandrake, has been employed for more than one hundred years as a laxative and more recently as a supposed liver stimulant. In 1942, Kaplan1 reported successful results in the treatment of condyloma acuminatum with topical application of a 25 per cent suspension of podophyllin in liquid petrolatum.

The rapid involution of the condylomas was assumed by Culp and Kaplan2 to be due to spasm of the small vessels induced by the irritant action of the drug, with resultant ischemia and necrosis. However, the histologic studies of treated lesions by Sullivan and King3 suggested a different mode of action. They found that 24 to 48 hours after application of podophyllin the epidermis showed two types of change: superficially there was loss of intercellular bridges with accentuation

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