Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1999; 23(5):435-443.

A New Observation of the Carney's Triad, with Long Follow-Up Period and Additional Tumors

Lucia Scopsi, M.D., M.S.,a Pa ala Callini, M.D.,b and Giuseppe Muscolino, M.D.c

a Casa di Cura S. Pio X, Milan, Italy, b Operative Unit of Pathological Anatomy and c Division of Thoracic Surgery, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Lucia Scopsi, M.D.. Casa di Curs S. Pio X, Via F. Nava 31. 20159 Milano, Italy.

ABSTRACT. The etiology of the Carney's triad (gastrointestinal stromal tumors, pulmonary chondromas, and paragangliomas) is unknown, and only 57 cases have been reported since its identification in 1977. We report the clinical course of a female with the complete triad and some additional tumors. Bilateral vagal paragangliomas were treated surgically and with radiotherapy between the ages of 24 and 26 years. Subsequently she underwent surgery for a gastric leiomyosarcoma (27 years), a pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland (49 years) and a multifocal breast cancer with axillary spread (50 years). A calcified lesion was also noticed in the left lung, the radiologic diagnosis of which was consistent with chondroma. A mediastinal paraganglioma, detected at 56 years on a control X-ray of the chest, was partially excised at 63 years. At the last control, performed at 66 years, the patient was alive with residual cervical and mediastinal paraganglioma. Her younger brother was affected by Hirschsprung's disease and died at 54 years of rectal cancer. Her daughter is 33 and has been suffering since birth with severe constipation. In conclusion, this is one of the longest followed-up patients with Carney's triad. Her case illustrates the need for early recognition of the setting in order to detect the component tumors at a stage when surgery may be curative, and careful and life-long follow-up, both because the multicentricity of the classic components tends to manifest metachronously and because of the tendency to develop other tumors, some of which may be malignant. Furthermore, the presence of Hirschsprung's disease in the patient's family, coupled with the alleged common origin of two component lesions from derivatives of the neural crest, open new avenues for the understanding of this disorder.

KEY WORDS: breast cancer, gastric leiomyosarcoma, leiomyoblastoma, paraganglioma, pleomorphic adenoma, pulmonary chondroma.

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