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Keywords:

  • primary extragenital choriocarcinoma;
  • pulmonary choriocarcinoma;
  • lung carcinoma;
  • chemotherapy;
  • human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-producing large or giant cell carcinoma of the lung is not uncommon, but primary pulmonary choriocarcinoma is an extremely rare entity. Even rarer are cases occurring in males; to date the authors have found only 12 reported cases in the English literature.

METHODS

The clinical record of a 61-year-old man who presented with hemoptysis is described. A review of the literature regarding patients with primary pulmonary choriocarcinoma also is reported.

RESULTS

Computed tomography scan of the chest demonstrated an expanding thickness of the bullous wall within areas of emphysematous change in the lower lobe of the right lung. Moreover, a new, round tumor near the thickness appeared and rapidly expanded evenly into the surrounding lung tissue. Exploratory thoracotomy revealed the previous tumor to be adenocarcinoma with a small foci of choriocarcinoma, and the new tumor to be a hemorrhage with choriocarcinoma. Because of the pleural dissemination, the patient was treated with chemotherapy. At last follow-up he was alive and well with a gradually increasing serum hCG-β level in spite of chemotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary pulmonary choriocarcinoma occurring in men is an extremely rare entity with a fatal prognosis. Of the 12 cases reported to date in the English literature, 3 cases of choriocarcinoma with the coexistence of another type of pulmonary carcinoma were reported. To the authors' knowledge the clinical relation between these two types of carcinoma are unknown because all cases to date have been detected at the time of autopsy. Only in the current study case could the clinical course of the disease be followed and pathologic confirmation achieved, although the pathogenesis of the two types of carcinoma could not be determined. Cancer 2001;91:123–9. © 2001 American Cancer Society.