article in PDF  
Our Dermatol Online. 2013; 4(3): 389-391
DOI: 10.7241/ourd.20133.98
Date of submission: 23.03.2013/acceptance: 30.04.2013
Conflicts of interest: None


Khalid Al Aboud1, Ahmad Al Aboud2

1Department of Public Health, King Faisal Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2Dermatology Department, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Corresponding author:  Dr. Khalid Al Aboud    e-mail: amoa65@hotmail.com


The term “eponym” originates from the Greek word “eponymous”, which means “named after”. An eponym was a simple way to describe tumors and tumor like lesions that initially were not well understood [1]. Most of the tumors in the skin and soft tissues are named according to its histopathological features under the microscope. Nevertheless, few of them are named eponymously. With the exception of Evans tumor which is currently best known as Low-Grade Fibromyxoid Sarcoma, the eponyms linked to the tumors in the skin and soft tissue maintain their position in the medical literature over the years. In this communication which is based, essentially [1], we aimed to highlight on selected eponyms in dermatology literature linked to the skin and soft tissue tumors, which we listed it in in Table I [1-10].
Eponyms in the dermatology
literature linked to the skin and soft tissue tumors
Bednar tumor
It is a name given to the pigmented type of Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). DFSP is a locally aggressive soft tissue neoplasm with intermediate- to low-grade malignancy. Bednar tumor is named after a well-known Czech pathologist, Blahoslav Bednar (1916-1998) (Fig. 1).
Figure 1. Blahoslav Bednar (1916-1998).
Reproduced from reference number 2.

Evans tumor
Evans tumor is another name for the tumor which is currently best known as Low- Grade Fibromyxoid Sarcoma. The tumor typically presents as an intramuscular soft-tissue mass in the lower extremity or trunk and is most commonly seen in young to middle-aged adults.
It was first described, in 1987, by, Harry L. Evans (Fig. 2), who is a contemporary Professor of Patholog, in the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Evans made other important scientific contributions. As an example, he defined the diagnostic criteria for monophasic synovial sarcoma.
Figure 2. Harry L. Evans

Ewing sarcoma
Ewing sarcoma is a malignant osseous neoplasm that affects mostly children and young adult males. It was initially described as “endothelioma of bone” by James Ewing (1866–1943) (Fig. 3), in 1921. Ewing became the first professor of pathology at Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medical College. He was recognized as a central figure in emerging tumor pathology at that time and was dubbed “Cancer Man”. Clinically, the neoplasm presents with oedema, swelling, and pain of the involved area. Histopathologically, Ewing’s sarcoma consists of solid sheets of small round cells, with vesicular nuclei and scant cytoplasm, arranged in irregular masses separated by strands of fibrous tissue, with areas of necrosis en masse intermingled with intratumoural haemorrhage. Cutaneous metastases from Ewing’s sarcoma are very uncommon. While, primary cutaneous Ewing sarcoma very rarely occurs and the prognosis has been reported to be better in some small series.
Figure 3. James Ewing (1866–1943).
A courtesy of National library of Medicine.

Kaposi sarcoma
It is a mesenchymal tumor that involves blood and lymphatic vessels and that affects multiple organs, most commonly the skin.It was first described as “idiopathic multiple pigmented sarcoma” by Moritz Kaposi Kohn (1837–1902) (Fig. 4), in 1872. Kaposi was born in Hungary, and graduated in medicine from the University of Vienna. He was one of the first to establish dermatology based on anatomic pathology.
His book, Pathology and Therapy of the Skin Diseases in Lectures for Practical Physicians and Students, became one of the most significant books in the history of dermatology and was translated into several languages.
Figure 4. Moritz Kaposi (1837–1902).
A courtesy of National library of Medicine.

Maffucci syndrome
It is characterized by multiple enchondromas and soft-tissue hemangiomas, less commonly lymphangiomas, affecting the skin and musculoskeletal system.
It is named after, an Italian pathologist, Angelo Maria Maffucci (1845-1903) (Fig. 5), who described it for the first time in 1881. He made also important scientific contribution in the field of tuberculosis.
Figure 5. Angelo Maria Maffucci (1845-1903)
When multiple enchondromas, is not associated with hemangiomas, it is called Ollier disease, after a French doctor, Louis Xavier Édouard Léopold Ollier (1830–1900) (Fig. 6), who reported it, in 1898. Ollier is recognized for his contributions in orthopedic and reconstructive surgery.
Figure 6. Louis Xavier Édouard Léopold Ollier (1830–1900).
A courtesy of National library of Medicine.

Morton neuroma
It consists of perineural fibrosis and nerve degeneration of the interdigital nerve at the level of the metatarsal heads. It is not a true neuroma and is caused by compression and irritation of the nerve beneath the intermetatarsal ligament.
It was first described in 1876, by Thomas George Morton (1835–1903). Morton was born in Philadelphia. He was the son of Samuel George Morton, a famous scientist and doctor. Morton became a surgeon after obtaining his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1856.

Table I. Selected Eponyms in the dermatology literature linked to the skin and soft tissue tumors [1-10]

1. Hwang S, Schneider R: Eponyms of tumors and tumor-like lesions in the musculoskeletal system: who were the people and what are the lesions? Pictorial review. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010;195:50-61.
2. Al Aboud K: Blahoslav Bednar (1916-1998) and the tumor which bears his name. Our Dermatol Online. 2012;3:239-40.
3. Delaplace M, Lhommet C, de Pinieux G, Vergier B, de Muret A, Machet L: Primary cutaneous Ewing sarcoma: a systematic review focused on treatment and outcome. Br J Dermatol. 2012;166:721-6.
4. Izquierdo MJ, Pastor MA, Carrasco L, Requena C, Fariña MC, Martín L et al: Cutaneous metastases from Ewing’s sarcoma: report of two cases. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2002;27:123-8.
5. Abreu Velez AM, Jackson BL, Velasquez Cantillo KL, Rafael A, Alvarez B, Howard MS: Merkel cell carcinoma versus metastatic small cell primary bronchogenic carcinoma. Our Dermatol Online. 2013;3:64-71.
6. Al Aboud K: Mnemonics in dermatopathology. Our Dermatol Online. 2012;3:360-1.
7. Kumar Yadalla HK, Rama Rao GR: Cutaneous Cryptococcosis: a marker of life threatening disseminated cryptococcosis in HIV AIDS. Our Dermatol Online. 2011;2:204-7.
8. Brzeziński P, Wass J, White K, Daboul MW, Arlt W, van den Hombergh P, Et al: Dermatology eponyms – phenomen / sign – Dictionary (A) – continued. N Dermatol Online. 2011;2:27-34.
9. Al Aboud A, Al Aboud K: Similar names and terms in dermatology; an appraisal. Our Dermatol Online. 2012;3:367-8.
10. Ciranni R, Giuffra V, Marinozzi S, Fornaciari G: [Angelo Maria Maffucci (1845-1903) and the beginning of pathological anatomy in Pisa]. Med Secoli. 2004;16:31-41.



Other Resources

Our Dermatology Online

Current Issue
All Issues
Instruction for authors
Submit Manuscripts
Ethics in Publishing
For Reviewers
Editors & Publishers 
Contact Us