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September 1977

Melanoma Treatment With Phenolic or Catecholic Compounds

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(9):1302. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640090150048

To the Editor.—  In a recent Archives editorial (113:421, 1977), Lerner and Nordlund suggested that selected cases of melanoma be treated with phenolic or catecholic compounds after resection of the primary tumor. The inference was that such a program would improve survival of patients with melanoma.I have also been interested in this same question, and I attempted to answer it with the use of the Fortner melanotic melanoma No. 1 hamster series. I selected for study four highly active depigmenting agents—one each from the hydroquinones, the mercaptoethylamines, the catechols, and the parasubstituted phenols. These compounds were injected intralesionally into small tumor papules five days a week for four weeks. No inhibition in tumor growth or in survival was obtained.1 Frenk and Ott had a similar result in their experiments.2 These data do not support the concept that depigmenting compounds may be useful in the treatment of malignant