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Carcinoid tumours presenting as breast cancer: the utility of radionuclide imaging with 123I-MIBG and 111In-DTPA pentetreotide

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Secondary tumours of any type in the breast are rare. A review of the literature demonstrated only 23 cases of carcinoid tumours with associated breast metastasis, as distinct from primary carcinoid tumours of the breast. Distant metastases from carcinoid tumours are correlated with poor prognosis and survival. Although both primary and metastatic mammary carcinoid tumours are uncommon, the recognition of the true origin of the tumours may be of importance owing to the different clinical management and prognosis of the two conditions. Recently, radionuclide-labelled imaging techniques have been applied to the localization of such lesions, based on isotope uptake by receptors present in these neuroendocrine tumours. We report two new cases of carcinoid tumours with breast metastases, the primaries being in the ileocaecal valve and the bronchus, respectively. The diagnosis of a carcinoid tumour was based on the clinical, biochemical, histopathological and immunostaining features. Furthermore, these patients had both 123I-MIBG and 111In pentetreotide scintigraphy performed. These radionuclides play a useful role in the localization and potentially in the management of carcinoid tumours and their distant metastases.
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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Endocrinology, 2: Histopathology, 3: Nuclear Medicine, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK

Publication date: November 1, 1998

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