Cerebral metastasis - lung cancer

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


First episode of convulsion. Cerebral mass visualised on CT scan (not shown).

Patient Data

Age: 55
Gender: Female

MRI Brain

MRI images show a 5.0 cm peripherally mass in the right frontal lobe extending to the overlying dura, with a cystic central component and a haemorrhagic peripheral rim that demonstrate a pattern of ring enhancement after contrast administration. There is an important mass effect with vasogenic oedema associated, but no significant midline shift. 


MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: Paraffin sections show fragments of fibrovascular tissue in which there is extensive necrosis and infiltration by a densely hypercellular tumour. Tumour cells have pleomorphic angulated hyperchromatic nuclei and a small amount of cytoplasm and are arranged in small solid polygonal and single-file aggregates within a dense fibrous stroma. Moderate numbers of mitotic figures are noted. Tumour cells form cuffs around small calibre arteries and veins. Several of these show complete lumenal obliteration by endarteritis.

Immunohistochemistry shows strong cytoplasmic staining in tumour cells for cytokeratin CK7 and weaker staining for cytokeratin CK5&6. No staining for TTF-1, E-cadherin, oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), HER-2 or GCDFP is seen. The features are of metastatic non-small cell carcinoma most consistent with an origin from lung.

DIAGNOSIS: Brain tissue: Metastatic non-small cell carcinoma with features most consistent with an origin from lung.

Case Discussion

80% of brain metastases can be accounted for by five primary tumours 1:

  1. lung cancer
  2. renal cell carcinoma
  3. breast cancer
  4. melanoma
  5. gastrointestinal tract adenocarcinomas (the majority colorectal carcinoma)
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Case information

rID: 36787
Case created: 11th May 2015
Last edited: 22nd Nov 2016
Tag: rmh
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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