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Carcinoembryonic Antigen Increase in a Patient with Colon Cancer Who Have Achieved Complete Remission and Negative 18F-FDG PET/CT: Don’t Forget the Thyroid!

Abstract : Serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a tumor marker especially used to follow a patient with colorectal cancer. However, it is non-specific and could be increased in several cancers and some benign conditions. We report the case of a 70-year-old man followed since 2014 for a left colon adenocarcinoma with the persistence of an increased CEA. There was no evidence of recurrence, but a right lobar thyroid nodule without a significantly increased uptake was incidentally discovered on the CT scan of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT. We suspected a medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) explaining the persistent elevation of CEA. Plasma calcitonin levels were 47 ng/L (N < 10). Fine needle aspiration cytology found atypia of undetermined significance and the patient was reluctant to undergo surgery without any further exploration. We performed a 18Ffluorodihydroxyphenylalanine (18F-FDOPA) PET/CT preoperatively which revealed a punctiform focus of the right thyroid lobe corresponding to a pT1aN1aMxR0 medullary thyroid carcinoma, histopathologically confirmed. This case highlights that despite the potential usefulness of 18F-FDG PET/CT in case of an unknown source of elevated CEA this imaging may be falsely negative as in the case of MTC and should lead to further explorations.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03349985
Contributor : Elizabeth Bernardo Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 9:37:42 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 3:19:38 AM

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Alexandre Lugat, Pauline Hulo, Catherine Ansquer, Yann Touchefeu, Eric Mirallié, et al.. Carcinoembryonic Antigen Increase in a Patient with Colon Cancer Who Have Achieved Complete Remission and Negative 18F-FDG PET/CT: Don’t Forget the Thyroid!. Current Oncology, Multimed Inc., 2021, 28 (4), pp.2987 - 2992. ⟨10.3390/curroncol28040261⟩. ⟨inserm-03349985⟩

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