Systemic capillary leak syndrome is a rare disease with a high mortality rate. This syndrome is characterised by generalised edema, hypotension, hemoconcentration, and hypoproteinemia. The cause is the sudden onset of capillary hyperpermeability with extravasations of plasma from the intravascular to the extravascular compartment. We present the case of a patient who experienced two episodes of systemic capillary leak syndrome and pulmonary hypertension; the first after gemcitabine in an adjuvant setting and the second three years later after treatment with nab-paclitaxel for metastatic disease.
A 65-year-old patient underwent a pancreatectomy in January 2010 for ductal carcinoma (pT3 N0 M0, stage IIa), followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Seven days after the last cycle, she developed dyspnea associated with orthopnea and cough. A transthoracic cardiac ecocolordoppler was performed, with evidence of pulmonary hypertension (58 mmHg). Blood tests showed an increase in creatinine, pro-BNP and D-Dimer. She began high-dose diuretic therapy combined with cortisone. After a month, the patient was eupneic and the anasarca had resolved. We decided gradually to reduce the steroid and diuretic therapy. After ten days of the reduction, the patient began to re-present the same symptoms after treatment with gemcitabine. Corticosteroid therapy was restored with rapid clinical benefit and decreased pro-BNP after a week of treatment. After two years, the disease returned. As a first line treatment, it was decided to use nab-paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 weekly. After two doses, followed by approximately 14 days of treatment, the patient developed acute respiratory distress syndrome. The clinical suspicion was a relapse of capillary leak syndrome and treatment with a high-dose diuretic (furosemide 250 mg daily) was started combined with cortisone (40 mg methylprednisolone). The patient showed a progressive clinical benefit.
In patients treated with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel who experience a sudden onset of diffuse edema with respiratory distress, capillary leak syndrome should be suspected. Immediate treatment with corticosteroids may be life-saving.
Capillary leak syndrome; Chemotherapy; Gemcitabine; Nab-paclitaxel; Abraxane; Pulmonary hypertension
The EML4–ALK (echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 gene and the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene) fusion oncogene represents a novel molecular target in a small subset of non–small–cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). The EML4–ALK fusion gene occurs generally in NSCLC without mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and KRAS.
We report that a case of EML4–ALK-positive NSCLC with EGFR mutation had a response of stable disease to both an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) and ALK inhibitor.
We described the first clinical report of a patient with EML4–ALK-positive NSCLC with EGFR mutation that had a response of stable disease to both single-agent EGFR-TKI and ALK inhibitor. EML4–ALK translocation may be associated with resistance to EGFR-TKI, and EGFR signaling may contribute to resistance to ALK inhibitor in EML4–ALK-positive NSCLC.
EML4–ALK; EGFR mutation; Lung cancer
Hormonal treatment might affect the immune response to tumor antigens induced in cancer patients who are being vaccinated.
A 33 years-old woman was diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma in May 2009. Her melanoma was located in the intermammary sulcus, had a Breslow thickness of 4 mm, a Clark’s level IV, it was ulcerated and highly melanotic. The bilateral sentinel node biopsy was negative. She entered into a randomized Phase II/III clinical study comparing a vaccine composed of irradiated melanoma cells plus BCG plus GM-CSF versus IFN-alpha 2b and she was assigned to the vaccine arm. During the two years treatment she remained disease-free; the final CAT scan being performed in August 2011. Between November and December 2011, her gynecologist treated her with three cycles of 200 mg progesterone/day for ten days, every two weeks, for ovary dysfunction. In November 2011 the patient returned to the Hospital for clinical and imaging evaluation and no evidence of disease was found. At the next visit in March 2012 an ultrasound revealed multiple, large metastases in the liver. A CAT scan confirmed the presence of liver, adrenal glands and spleen metastases. A needle biopsy of a liver lesion revealed metastatic melanoma of similar characteristics to the original tumor. We suggest that progesterone treatment triggered proliferation of so far dormant micrometastases that were controlled during CSF470 vaccine treatment.
The use of progesterone in patients with melanoma that are under immunological treatments should be carefully considered, since progesterone could modify the balance of pro-inflammatory and Th1 functions to a regulatory and anti-inflammatory profile of the immune system that could have an impact in tumor progression.
Melanoma; Vaccine treatment; Progesterone treatment; Metastasis
Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) patients display a dismal median overall survival of less than 1 year. A consistent fraction of cases carries de-novo SMARCB1/INI1 constitutional mutations in the setting of the “rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome” and the outcome is worst in infant syndromic ATRT patients.
We here describe a patient affected by mosaic Klinefelter syndrome and by rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome caused by constitutional SMARCB1/INI1 heterozygous mutation c.118C>T (Arg40X). Patient’s ATRT primary tumor occurred at 2 years of age concurrent with metastatic lesions. The patient was rendered without evidence of disease by combined surgery, high-dose poli-chemotherapy and craniospinal irradiation, followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. At the onset of a spinal lesion 5.5 years later, both tumors were pathologically and molecularly evaluated at the national central pathology review board and defined as ATRT in a syndromic patient, with strong evidence of a clonal origin of the two lesions. The patient was then treated according to SIOP guidelines and is now alive without evidence of disease 24 months after the detection of metastatic disease and 90 months after the original diagnosis.
The report underscores the current utility of multiple comprehensive approaches for the correct diagnosis and clinical management of patients affected by rare and atypical brain neoplasms. Successful local control of disease and achievement of long-term survival is possible in ATRT patients even in the setting of rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome, infant age at diagnosis and metastatic spread of disease, thus justifying the efforts for the management of this severe condition.
Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor; ATRT; SMARCB1/INI1; Medulloblastoma; MLPA
Acinic cell carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignant epithelial neoplasm characterized by the presence of malignant tubular acinar exocrine gland structures. Diagnosis is generally made in salivary glands and in the pancreas. ACC of the breast has been reported in few cases only. Carriers of inherited mutations in the BRCA1 gene are prone to the development of breast cancer, mainly invasive ductal or medullary type carcinomas. We describe for the first time a BRCA1 mutation carrier with a diagnosis of ACC of the breast.
The patient developed an invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) at the age of 40 years and an ACC in the contralateral breast at 44 years. Immunohistochemical examination of the ACC revealed a triple negative status (i.e., negativity for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and HER2 protein) and positivity for p53. Using a combination of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and sequencing analyses, the loss of the wild-type BRCA1 allele was detected in both the ACC and the IDC. In addition, two different somatic TP53 mutations, one in the ACC only and another one in the IDC only, were observed.
Both the immunohistochemical and molecular features observed in the ACC are typical of BRCA1-associated breast cancers and suggest an involvement of the patient’s germline mutation in the disease. The occurrence of rare histological types of breast cancers, including malignant phyllodes tumor, atypical medullary carcinoma and metaplastic carcinoma, in BRCA1 mutation carriers has been already reported. Our findings further broaden the spectrum of BRCA1-associated breast malignancies.
Acinic cell carcinoma; Breast cancer; BRCA1; Triple negative; TP53 mutation
Sunitinib interacts with radiation therapy, leading to synergism of the toxicities of these treatments. Radiation recall pneumonitis is a rare but serious complication of targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
The case of a patient with metastatic renal cell cancer (RCC) who developed recall pneumonitis on the first cycle of systemic sunitinib treatment is reported here. A 65-year-old man with RCC and bone metastasis underwent radiation therapy on his thoracic vertebrae (Th5-8) with a total dose of 24 Gy. Sunitinib (37.5 mg) was started 14 days after completing the radiation therapy. On the 14th day of sunitinib treatment, the patient developed progressive fever with worsening of dyspnea and general weakness. Treatment with pulse administration of prednisolone 1,000 mg for 3 days was initiated. Thereafter, the symptoms and the radiological findings regarding the interstitial filtration gradually improved over 7 days.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of early onset recall pneumonitis during sunitinib therapy. At present, how sunitinib interacts with radiation therapy remains unclear. The possibility that tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, including with sunitinib, after radiation therapy may lead to adverse effects should be kept in mind.
Sunitinib; Renal cell cancer; Recall pneumonitis; Radiation; Radiation pneumonitis
Diagnosis of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is commonly based on clinical criteria, and confirmed by genetic testing. In patients without known MEN1-related germline mutations, the possibility of a casual association between two or more endocrine tumors cannot be excluded and subsequent management may be difficult to plan. We describe a very uncommon case of functioning glucagonoma associated with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) in which genetic testing failed to detect germline mutations of MEN-1 and other known genes responsible for MEN1.
The patient, a 65-year old woman, had been suffering for more than 1 year from weakness, progressive weight loss, angular cheilitis, glossitis and, more recently, skin rashes on the perineum, perioral skin and groin folds. After multidisciplinary investigations, functioning glucagonoma and asymptomatic pHPT were diagnosed and, since family history was negative, sporadic MEN1 was suspected. However, genetic testing revealed neither MEN-1 nor other gene mutations responsible for rarer cases of MEN1 (CDKN1B/p27 and other cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor genes CDKN1A/p15, CDKN2C/p18, CDKN2B/p21). The patient underwent distal splenopancreatectomy and at the 4-month follow-up she showed complete remission of symptoms. Six months later, a thyroid nodule, suspected to be a malignant neoplasia, and two hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands were detected respectively by ultrasound with fine needle aspiration cytology and 99mTc-sestamibi scan with SPECT acquisition. Total thyroidectomy was performed, whereas selective parathyroidectomy was preferred to a more extensive procedure because the diagnosis of MEN1 was not supported by genetic analysis and intraoperative intact parathyroid hormone had revealed “adenoma-like” kinetics after the second parathyroid resection. Thirty-nine and 25 months after respectively the first and the second operation, the patient is well and shows no signs or symptoms of recurrence.
Despite well-defined diagnostic criteria and guidelines, diagnosis of MEN1 can still be challenging. When diagnosis is doubtful, appropriate management may be difficult to establish.
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1; Glucagonoma; Primary hyperparathyroidism
Sorafenib is an orally available kinase inhibitor with activity at Raf, PDGFβ and VEGF receptors that is licensed for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Current evidence-based post-nephrectomy management of individuals with localized RCC consists of surveillance-based follow up. The SORCE trial is designed to investigate whether treatment with adjuvant sorafenib can reduce recurrence rates in this cohort.
Here we report an idiosyncratic reaction to sorafenib resulting in fatal hepatotoxicity and associated renal failure in a 62 year-old man treated with sorafenib within the SORCE trial.
This is the first reported case of sorafenib exposure associated fatal toxicity in the adjuvant setting and highlights the unpredictable adverse effects of novel adjuvant therapies.
Sorafenib; Hepatotoxicity; Adjuvant; SORCE; RCC; DILI
Pyloric gland adenoma consists of closely packed pyloric-type glands lined by mucus-secreting cells. To date, approximately 230 cases have been reported, mostly of gastric localization with a tumour size up to 3.5 cm and a mean age of occurrence around 70 years. Adenocarcinoma develops in about 40% of cases and may be difficult to detect due to relatively mild nuclear atypia.
We present the first case of a pyloric gland adenoma of the cystic duct in a 62-year-old male patient and demonstrate the clinicopathologic characteristics, including radiographic, molecular, and cytogenetic findings. The 2 cm-tumour developed in the cystic duct and protruded into the hepatic and common bile duct. On microscopic examination, it displayed closely packed pyloric-type glands, and focal architectural distortion with mild nuclear atypia. Immunohistochemically, it expressed MUC1, MUC5AC, MUC6 and p53, but not MUC2 and CD10. The Ki67-proliferation index was 25%. Furthermore, high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia was observed in the surrounding bile duct. We detected chromosomal gains at 7p, 7q11q21, 15q, 16p, 20, losses at 6p23pter, 6q, 18, and amplifications at 1q and 6p21p22 in the pyloric gland adenoma by comparative genomic hybridization. A KRAS codon 12 mutation (c.35G>T; p.G12V) was detected in the pyloric gland adenoma and in the adjacent dysplasia by sequencing analysis. The diagnosis of pyloric gland adenoma was established with transition into well-differentiated adenocarcinoma and high-grade biliary intraepithelial neoplasia.
Pyloric gland adenoma evolving in the cystic duct is a rare differential diagnosis of obstructive bile duct tumours. Other premalignant bile duct lesions may be associated. Due to the risk of developing adenocarcinoma, surgical resection should be performed.
Pyloric gland adenoma; Adenocarcinoma; Cystic duct; Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH); KRAS mutation
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) - tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) is used for the patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer. Recently, phase III studies in the patients with EGFR-mutant demonstrated that EGFR-TKI monotherapy improved progression-free survival compared with platinum-doublet chemotherapy. The echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) - anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion oncogene represents one of the newest molecular targets in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients who harbor EML4-ALK fusions have been associated with a lack of EGFR or KRAS mutations.
We report a 39-year-old patient diagnosed as adenocarcinoma harboring EGFR mutation and EML4-ALK fusion gene. We treated this patient with erlotinib as the third line therapy, but no clinical benefit was obtained.
We experienced a rare case with EGFR mutation and EML4-ALK. Any clinical benefit using EGFR-TKI was not obtained in our case. The therapeutic choice for the patients with more than one driver mutations is unclear. We needs further understanding of the lung cancer molecular biology and the biomarker infomation.
Lung cancer; EGFR mutation; EML4-ALK; Erlotinib
Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) and malignant melanoma share overlapping immunohistochemistry with regard to the melanocytic markers HMB45, S100, and Melan-A. However, the translocation t(12; 22)(q13; q12) is specific to CCS. Therefore, although these neoplasms are closely related, they are now considered to be distinct entities. However, the translocation is apparently detectable only in 50%–70% of CCS cases. Therefore, the absence of a detectable EWS/AFT1 rearrangement may occasionally lead to erroneous exclusion of a translocation-negative CCS. Therefore, histological assessment is essential for the correct diagnosis of CCS. Primary CCS of the bone is exceedingly rare. Only a few cases of primary CCS arising in the ulna, metatarsals, ribs, radius, sacrum, and humerus have been reported, and primary CCS arising in the pubic bone has not been reported till date.
We present the case of an 81-year-old man with primary CCS of the pubic bone. Histological examination of the pubic bone revealed monomorphic small-sized cells arranged predominantly as a diffuse sheet with round, hyperchromatic nuclei and inconspicuous nucleoli. The cells had scant cytoplasm, and the biopsy findings indicated small round cell tumor (SRCT). Immunohistochemical staining revealed the tumor cells to be positive for HMB45, S100, and Melan-A but negative for cytokeratin (AE1/AE3) and epithelial membrane antigen. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of primary CCS of the pubic bone resembling SRCT. This ambiguous appearance underscores the difficulties encountered during the histological diagnosis of this rare variant of CCS.
Awareness of primary CCS of the bone is clinically important for accurate diagnosis and management when the tumor is located in unusual locations such as the pubic bone and when the translocation t(12; 22)(q13; q12) is absent.
Clear cell sarcoma; Small round cell tumor; Pubic bone; Immunohistochemistry
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOCS) and Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer Syndrome (HNPCC, Lynch Syndrome) are two tumor predisposition syndromes responsible for the majority of hereditary breast and colorectal cancers. Carriers of both germline mutations in breast cancer genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 and in mismatch repair (MMR) genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2 are very rare.
We identified germline mutations in BRCA1 and in MSH6 in a patient with increased risk for HBOC diagnosed with endometrial cancer at the age of 46 years.
Although carriers of mutations in both MMR and BRCA genes are rare in Caucasian populations and anamnestical and histopathological findings may guide clinicians to identify these families, both syndromes can only be diagnosed through a complete gene analysis of the respective genes.
The reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome is a clinical/radiological syndrome characterized by headache, seizures, impaired vision, acute hypertension, and typical magnetic resonance imaging findings. There are several reports in the literature that depict its occurrence in cancer patients. The list of common anticancer and supportive care drugs that predispose to reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome is expanding and includes not only a large number of chemotherapeutic agents but also an increased number of new targeted drugs, particularly angiogenesis inhibitors such as bevacizumab,sorefenib and sunitinib. Pazopanib is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and c-Kit which after a positive phase III randomized clinical trial in patients with advanced renal cell cancer received FDA approval for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma. Until now no cases of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome induced by pazopanib have been reported.
We present the case of a 40 years old female patient with heavily pre-treated metastatic renal cell carcinoma who received pazopanib as salvage treatment. After 21 days of pazopanib therapy the patient referred to the emergency department with epileptic seizure, impaired vision at both eyes and headache. MRI of the brain revealed subcortical oedema at the occipital and parietal lobes bilaterally. She was treated with anticonvulsants, i.v. administration of mannitol and antihypertensives and she recovered completely from her symptoms and was discharged on the tenth hospital day. A brain MRI performed 3 weeks after showed that the subcortical oedema had been subsided.
In conclusion this is the first case of pazopanib induced reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome. Although usually reversible, this syndrome is a serious and potentially life threatening adverse effect, if untreated, that should be considered by physicians treating metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients with pazopanib.
Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome; Pazopanib; Renal cell carcinoma
Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in developed countries. This neoplasm frequently relapses at distant sites such as bone, lung, pleura, brain and liver but rarely in the lower female genital tract.
We present the first case of isolated vaginal breast cancer metastasis and its surgical treatment.
This case report focuses on the importance of an accurate genital tract examination as part of regular follow up in breast cancer survivors. Indeed, after this experience we feel that surgery could be considered a valid option for the treatment of an isolated vaginal metastasis.
Breast cancer; Radical surgery; Vaginal metastasis
Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome that is commonly associated with a germline mutation in the tumor suppressor gene p53. Loss of p53 results in increased expression of CD44, a cancer stem cell (CSC) marker, which is involved in the scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we report a change in the expression of a CD44 variant isoform (CD44v8-10) in an 8-year-old female LFS patient with osteosarcoma and atypical liver cancer after chemotherapy.
The patient visited a clinic with a chief complaint of chronic pain in a bruise on her right knee. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) raised the possibility of a bone malignancy. Biochemical testing also revealed significantly elevated levels of AFP, which strongly suggested the existence of a primary malignancy in the liver. MRI imaging showed the simultaneous development of osteosarcoma and liver cancer, both of which were confirmed upon biopsy. Combined therapy with surgical resection after chemotherapy was successful in this patient. Regardless of the absence of a familial history of hereditary cancer, a germline mutation in p53 was identified (a missense mutation defined as c.722 C>T, p.Ser241Phe). To better understand the cancer progression and response to treatment, immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of biopsy specimens obtained before and after chemotherapy was performed using a specific antibody against CD44v8-10.
This case demonstrates the ectopic up-regulation of CD44v8-10 in a biopsy sample obtained after cytotoxic chemotherapy, which confers high levels of oxidative stress on cancer cells. Because the alternative splicing of CD44 is tightly regulated epigenetically, it is possible that micro-environmental stress resulting from chemotherapy caused the ectopic induction of CD44v8-10 in vivo.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS); cancer stem cells (CSCs); CD44 variant isoforms
Pulmonary carcinosarcoma is a biphasic tumour with an unfavourable prognosis. The differential diagnosis includes pulmonary blastoma and is often challenging.
We here describe a case of blastomatoid pulmonary carcinosarcoma in a 58-year-old patient, who underwent surgical resection. Histopathological examination revealed immature glandular epithelium resembling high-grade fetal adenocarcinoma expressing epithelial markers and membranous beta-catenin, and blastomatoid spindle cells with partial rhabdomyosarcoma-like differentiation. Both elements expressed p53, MDM2, and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), but not thyroid-transcription factor 1 (TTF-1). Mutation analysis of KRAS, EGFR, and beta-catenin revealed no mutations. Comparative genomic hybridization detected +1q, +6p, +6q24qter, +8q, +11q12q14, +11q23qter, +12q12q21, +12q24qter, +17q, +20q, -5q14q23, -9p13pter, -13q21q21, and amplifications at 12q14q21, 15q24qter, 20q11q12.
The observed molecular and cytogenetic findings may provide additional tools for the differential diagnosis of biphasic pulmonary neoplasms. Furthermore, TP53, MDM2, CDK4, and PTPN1 may be involved in tumourigenesis.
Lung; biphasic, Carcinosarcoma, Pulmonary blastoma, Comparative genomic hybridization
Soft tissue metastases, in particular intraneural metastasis, from any carcinomas seldom occur. To our knowledge, no case of sciatic nerve palsy due to intraneural metastasis of gastric carcinoma is reported in the literature.
A case is reported of a 82-year old woman with sciatic nerve palsy with intraneural metastasis of gastric carcinoma. Although she had undergone partial gastrectomy with T2b, N0, M0 two years ago and primary site was cured, she developed sciatic nerve palsy from the carcinoma metastasis directly to the nerve. Operative resection and Histological examination revealed poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, the same as her primary site adenocarcinoma.
Sciatica is usually caused by a herniated disc or spinal canal stenosis. Sciatic nerve palsy may be caused by nondiscogenic etiologies that may be either intrapelvic or extrapelvic. It is important to image the entire course of the nerve to distinguish these etiologies quickly. The longer the nerve compression the less likely a palsy will recover. Surgery is a good intervention that simultaneously obtains a tissue diagnosis and decompresses the nerve.
Intraneural metastasis; Nerve palsy; Palliative surgery
Li-Fraumeni-Syndrome (LFS) is an autosomal-dominant, inherited tumour predisposition syndrome associated with heterozygous germline mutations in the TP53 gene. Patients with LFS are at a high risk to develop early-onset breast cancer and multiple malignancies, among which sarcomas are the most common. A high incidence of childhood tumours and close to 100% penetrance has been described. Knowledge of the genetic status of the TP53 gene in these patients is critical not only due to the increased risk of malignancies, but also because of the therapeutic implications, since a higher rate of radiation-induced secondary tumours in these patients has been observed.
We report a patient with LFS harbouring heterozygous, pathogenic TP53 germline mutation, who was affected by four synchronous malignancies at the age of 40: a myxofibrosarcoma of the right upper arm, bilateral breast cancer and a periadrenal liposarcoma. Radiological treatments and a surveillance program were adjusted according to recommendations for LFS patients.
Management of tumour treatment of patients with LFS is different to the general population because of their risk for secondary cancers in the radiation field. Screening procedures should take a possibly elevated risk for radiation induced cancer into account.
Li-Fraumeni-Syndrome; LFS; TP53; Secondary cancer; Treatment
Melanocytic meningeal tumours are rare extra-axial neoplasms of the nervous system, with only three reported cases in the cavernous sinus. Herein we describe for the first time the association of ocular melanosis and multiple intracranial melanocytic meningeal tumours, with the presenting lesion being in the cavernous sinus. The importance of this association is discussed together with the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges of the case.
A 20-year-old man presented with a left sixth cranial nerve deficit; general examination documented only congenital melanosis of the homolateral eye. MRI examination showed a space occupying lesion in the left cavernous sinus, which was followed conservatively for 2 years, until a new space occupying lesion was evident at the level of the right frontal convexity: both lesions presented with neuroradiological characteristics suggestive of melanin content.
The frontal convexity lesion was removed: intraoperatively the dura was markedly and diffusely melanotic. Histological examination documented a melanocytic meningeal tumour, with a proliferative index of 3 %. The patient underwent 3D-Conformal Radiation Therapy on the lesion of the cavernous sinus (total dose 5040 cGy), with initial tumour reduction. Three years later, due to a symptomatic growth, he underwent partial removal of the lesion in the cavernous sinus. Histological examination was unchanged. He then received adjuvant Temozolomide with Low Dose Fractionated Radiation Therapy (LD-FRT). Due to further disease progression cisplatin plus fotemustine were administered, concomitant with LD-FRT: after two cycles MRI documented significant disease regression. After a period of apparent disease control, the patient presented with persistent cough and evidence of multiple thoracic metastases, which lead to his death, seven years after presentation.
Intracranial melanocytic meningeal tumours are challenging lesions, both from a diagnostic and therapeutic point of view; though rare, the possible association with ocular melanosis should be recognized and might facilitate an early diagnosis. Surgery remains the best possible option when feasible. In the event of partial resection, this “benign” disease might be clinically aggressive.
Melanocytoma; Melanocytic meningeal tumour; Intracranial melanocytosis; Melanosis oculi; Cavernous sinus