Delayed recurrence of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma presenting as metastatic duodenal ulcer


Hematology and Oncology, Advocate Health Care


Renal cancers are one of the common causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. Most primary cases are localized at presentation and are treated with partial or radical nephrectomy with curative intent. However, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is known for its potential recurrence, sometimes several years after initial management. Many of these recurrent cases commonly metastasize to the liver, kidney, or bone and herald a poor prognosis. We present a case study of nonclear cell RCC, which recurred 33 years after nephrectomy and masqueraded as a duodenal ulcer -- an extremely rare site for metastasis. This is unique as it describes a presentation only sparingly documented in the medical literature and highlights a more extended period of recurrence than currently reported. Moreover, our patient's tumor was chromophobe cell variety, a rare sub-type of nonclear cell RCC, which to our knowledge has never been known to cause duodenal metastasis. Studies have implicated a prognostic role of lymph node involvement at the time of initial diagnosis to predict future recurrence. This case is a drop in the mighty ocean to prompt further investigation on the utility of life-long surveillance protocols and further research evaluating the role of lymph node dissection in preventing such recurrences and high mortality.

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