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January 2022

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1984 ; 108(1): 154-6.

Carcinogenic activity of condensate from coloquint seeds (Citrullus colocynthis) after chronic epicutaneous administration to mice.

Habs M, Jahn SA, Schmähl D.

In the Sahelian countries coloquint seed tar is used in traditional medicine. A condensate from the seed of Citrullus colocynthis was obtained in a camel nomad settlement. It contained a large number of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including known carcinogens [e.g., benzo(a)pyrene, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(j)fluoranthene]. The dose-related carcinogenic activity of this condensate was established after chronic epicutaneous application to mouse skin. We conclude that the manufacture and use of coloquint tar and related compounds may involve a health hazard and could lead to the development of cancer.


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