Asbestos Exposure and Development of Pulmonary Pleomorphic Carcinoma in a Non-smoker: A Rare Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.
Pulmonary pleomorphic carcinoma (PPC) is a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer that is extremely rare and carries a poor prognosis due to its inadequate response to treatment. Patients that present with PPC often exhibit similar symptoms of other malignancies of the lung, making it hard for clinicians to distinguish between each type. However, cytology and gene mutation testing are two approaches that can aid physicians in an accurate and definitive diagnosis. We present a case of an 88-year-old male patient with a diagnosis of pulmonary pleomorphic carcinoma after experiencing recurrent sanguineous pleural effusions. The patient had no smoking history but did have a history of asbestos exposure and pulmonary fibrosis. The patient underwent thoracotomy with pleurodesis and analysis of the surgical pleural biopsy specimen stained positive for markers indicative of PPC. The pathology report was also consistent with the associated cell morphology. Lung cancer is the leading cause of mortality due to cancer in the United States, and exposure to certain substances contributes to the development of these poorly treatable lung malignancies. Smoking and asbestos exposure are well known to act synergistically with each other as risk factors in developing these lung malignancies. In addition to clinical suspicion, screening for these risk factors with laboratory values and imaging is important to diagnose these rare cases of lung malignancies.
Published In/Presented At
Alejo, A. L., Patel, R. A., Pandya, K. K., Bodrya, K., Goldstein, L., & Hemrock, L. (2023). Asbestos Exposure and Development of Pulmonary Pleomorphic Carcinoma in a Non-smoker: A Rare Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Cureus, 15(4), e37860. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.37860
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine