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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2012 June;25(3):225-7

language: English

A 69-year-old woman presenting a metastatic renal cell carcinoma in the thyroid gland: a case report and review of the literature

Antonino A. 1, Lupone G. 2, Zenone P. 2, Iervolino E. M. 2, Grillo M. 2, Gragnano E. 2, De Palma M. 2

1 Department of General Surgery, Geriatrics Oncology and Advanced Technology, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy;
2 Department of General and Endocrine Surgery, A. Cardarelli Hospital, Naples Italy


In spite of its rich vasculature, the thyroid gland is rarely the site of metastatic disease. In clinical papers, the incidence is low and amounts to 2-3% of all malignant tumors of the thyroid; this incidence can be higher in autopsies, ranging from 5% to 24%. Different types of solid tumors can metastasize to the thyroid including malignant melanoma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), breast cancer, lung carcinoma, hematologic malignancies, and head and neck tumors. Most thyroid metastases are small, indolent tumors found in patients with advanced disease. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common primary tumor with clinically relevant thyroid metastases. Our aim is to examine and summarize common patterns of presentation, diagnosis and generalized overall management recommendations regarding renal clear cell carcinoma metastasis to the thyroid gland, describing our experience of a case treated at our Department and presenting a comprehensive review of the related English-language literature.

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