Small cell carcinoma (SCC) of the prostate is an uncommon condition; there are very few cases in which presenting symptoms are consistent with Cushing Syndrome (CS). We report a new case in which CS triggers the suspicion of an SCC of the prostate and a review of the published cases of SCC of the prostate presenting with CS. The origin of these neoplasms is still unclear. It may be suspected when laboratory features appear in patients diagnosed with prostatic adenocarcinoma which becomes resistant to specific therapy. SCC usually occurs after the 6th decade. Patients suffering SCC of the prostate presenting with CS usually present symptoms such as hypertension, hyperglycemia, alkalosis or hypokalemia; cushingoid phenotype is less frequent. Cortisol and ACTH levels are often high. Prostatic-specific antigen levels are usually normal. CT scan is the preferred imaging test to localize the lesion, but its performance may be improved by adding other tests, such as FDG-PET scan. All patients have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. Lymph nodes, liver and bone are the most frequent metastases sites. Surgery and Ketokonazole are the preferred treatments for CS. The prognosis is very poor: 2- and 5-year survival rates are 27.5 and 14.3%, respectively. Key messages When a patient presents with ectopic Cushing Syndrome but lungs are normal, an atypical localization should be suspected. We should suspect a prostatic origin if Cushing Syndrome is accompanied by obstructive inferior urinary tract symptoms or in the setting of a prostatic adenocarcinoma with rapid clinical and radiological progression with relatively low PSA levels. Although no imaging test is preferred to localize these tumors, FDG-PET-TC can be very useful. Hormone marker scintigraphy (e.g. somatostatin) could be used too. As Cushing Syndrome is a paraneoplastic phenomenon, treatment of the underlying disease may help control hypercortisolism manifestations. These tumors are usually metastatic by the time of diagnosis. They have very poor prognosis.
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Annals of medicine. 2016 Apr 11 [Epub ahead of print]
José Antonio Rueda-Camino, Beatriz Losada-Vila, Cristina Lucía De Ancos-Aracil, Laura Rodríguez-Lajusticia, Juan Carlos Tardío, Antonio Zapatero-Gaviria
a Department of Internal Medicine , Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada , Madrid , Spain ;, b Department of Medical Oncology , Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada , Madrid , Spain ;, a Department of Internal Medicine , Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada , Madrid , Spain ;, b Department of Medical Oncology , Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada , Madrid , Spain ;, c Department of Pathology , Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada , Madrid , Spain., a Department of Internal Medicine , Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada , Madrid , Spain ;