Undifferentiated carcinoma of the transverse colon with rhabdoid features that developed during treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma with pembrolizumab: a case report

Surg Case Rep. 2020 Aug 3;6(1):196. doi: 10.1186/s40792-020-00963-1.


Background: Undifferentiated carcinoma of the colon is rare, and its prognosis is very poor. We report a case of undifferentiated carcinoma of the colon with rhabdoid features developed during treatment of non-small lung carcinoma (NSCLC) with pembrolizumab.

Case presentation: A 58-year-old man was diagnosed with transverse colon cancer during chemotherapy with pembrolizumab for NSCLC. Laparoscopic right hemicolectomy was performed. The histopathological diagnosis was undifferentiated carcinoma with rhabdoid features and lymph node metastasis. Immunohistochemically, programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) showed positivity. The microsatellite instability (MSI) status was low. He continued to receive pembrolizumab for NSCLC, and there have been no signs of colon cancer recurrence and progression of NSCLC for 15 months.

Conclusion: We present the case of an undifferentiated carcinoma of the transverse colon with rhabdoid features. The development of the tumor with the expression of PD-L1 during pembrolizumab might have been associated with the low MSI.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Pembrolizumab; Rhabdoid tumor; Undifferentiated carcinoma.