Many Cushing Syndrome-EAS Tumors Found in Chest Cavity

Bronchial carcinoid, small-cell lung cancer most common cause of Cushing syndrome-EAS tumors

FRIDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Cushing syndrome (CS) secondary to ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion (EAS) who attend a comprehensive cancer center, nearly 50 percent have tumors in the chest cavity, notably bronchial carcinoid and small-cell lung cancer, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of Cancer.

Shamim Ejaz, M.D., from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues investigated the tumors associated with CS-EAS in a retrospective review of 43 patients with CS-EAS diagnosed between 1979 and 2009 at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The investigators found that various neuroendocrine tumors were correlated with CS-EAS. Tumors in the chest cavity were found in 21 patients (48.9 percent), with bronchial carcinoid and small-cell lung cancer being the two most common causes. Despite extensive workup, the ACTH source could not be identified in four patients. Variations were found in the clinical presentations, with classic features of CS not present in some patients. Median overall survival was 32.2 months, with 27 deaths. New-onset or worsening hyperglycemia (77 percent), symptomatic venous thromboembolism (14 percent), and infections (23 percent) were the major morbidities found.

"Tumors originating in the chest cavity were the leading tumors associated with this syndrome," the authors write.

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