Metastatic renal cell carcinoma to the small bowel: three cases of GI bleeding and a literature review
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Approximately 25–30% of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, where the most common sites of metastasis are the lung (50–60% of patients with metastatic disease), bones (30–40%), liver (30–40%), and brain (5%). Although RCC metastasis to the small intestine is thought to be exceedingly rare, with predominantly isolated case reports and a few case series in the literature, we present below three additional cases at our institution of metastatic RCC to the small bowel presenting as GI bleeding. A literature review demonstrates that the number of published case reports has been increasing in recent years. We hypothesize that in the era of targeted chemotherapy and VEGF inhibitors to treat RCC that patients are living longer and have more time for their primary tumors to metastasize to the small bowel and become symptomatic, causing metastatic RCC to the small bowel to be less rare than previously thought.
KeywordsRenal cell carcinoma Small bowel metastasis Upper GI bleed
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that no conflicts of interest exist.
Human and animal rights
This retrospective chart review study involving human participants was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee at MGH (IRB approval # 2008P000578).
According to our IRB committee, informed consent from all participants included in this study was not required given the fact that all included patient data and images are de-identified, and thus the study was deemed to be of minimal risk to the participants.
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