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Keywords:

  • stomach cancer;
  • small-cell carcinoma;
  • oat-cell carcinoma;
  • gastric adenocarcinoma

Primary small-cell carcinoma (SmCC) of the stomach is a rare neoplasm with a poor prognosis and unclear histogenesis: to date, only 50 cases, including ours, have been reported in the literature. In the World Health Organization gastrointestinal tumours’ classification, SmCC of the stomach has been recognized as an ‘independent entity affecting the stomach’. In this paper, the authors present a clinical case and the surgical treatment of an adult with a SmCC of the stomach associated with gastric adenocarcinoma. After laparotomy, a large neoplasm with locoregional extension and multiple liver metastases were found. A palliative resection, subtotal gastrectomy, was performed, followed by systemic and intra-hepatic chemotherapy: computed tomography scan demonstrated a marked response, but the patient died 15 months after the operation. A review of the literature showed that the diagnosis of gastric SmCC is based on immunohistochemical findings. Our experience confirmed the high aggressiveness of this neoplasm, which is generally diagnosed in advanced stage and is unresponsive to chemotherapy, but the combined use of systemic and intra-hepatic chemotherapy shows an acceptable result in a palliative care perspective.