Breast metastasis by medullary thyroid carcinoma detected by FDG positron emission tomography

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2008 Feb;12(1):67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2006.08.004. Epub 2007 Jul 24.


Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is an uncommon thyroid cancer comprising 5% to 8% of thyroid neoplasms. In contrast to common thyroid tumors, this tumor originates from the calcitonin-producing C cells. Regional metastases to cervical lymph nodes occur early in the disease, whereas distant metastasis occurs late. Common metastatic sites include the liver, bone, brain, and adrenal medulla. We present a case of MTC metastatic to the breast. We report on this case for the following reasons: (1) metastasis to the breast is an extremely rare occurrence and could be easily confused clinically and pathologically with a primary breast neoplasm and (2) this is the first reported case of detection of breast metastasis by an MTC using FDG ((18)F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose) positron emission tomography with an accompanying histologic description.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / secondary
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / therapy
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cisplatin