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Article
November 1960

Dermatomyositis and Malignant Neoplasms in Adults: A Survey of Twenty Years' Experience

Author Affiliations

Cleveland

From a paper presented at the Cleveland Dermatological Society, Feb. 25, 1960.; From the Department of Dermatology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and The Frank E. Bunts Educational Institute.

Fellows in the Department of Dermatology, the Cleveland Clinic (Dr. Arundell, and Dr. Wilkinson).

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(5):772-775. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580050114017
Abstract

The relationship of dermatomyositis and neoplastic disease remains a controversial subject. The present report deals with this combination of seemingly unrelated diseases. The following data reveal that, when childhood cases of dermatomyositis are excluded, the association with cancer is a significant and important feature of dermatomyositis. These studies indicate that the doctor who makes a diagnosis of dermatomyositis in an adult should initiate thorough and repeated searches for a hidden malignant neoplasm.

Historical Review  Since the original description by Unverricht1 and Wagner2 in 1887, dermatomyositis has become a well-recognized clinical entity. The etiology of dermatomyositis remains an enigma; in the past, infection, metabolic defects, endocrine dysfunction, and allergy have been implicated.3-7 The association of this disease with carcinoma was reported in 1916 by Stertz8 and Kankeleit.9 In 1935, Bezecny10 called attention to the association of these seemingly unrelated diseases in two women, one 58

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