Lingual metastasis from renal cell carcinoma: A case report and literature review

Camillo Porta, Carlo Ganini, Angioletta Lasagna, Elisa Ferraris, Patrizia Gatti, Chiara Paglino, Ilaria Imarisio, Patrizia Morbini, Marco Benazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for the 3% of all solid tumors. Despite continuous improvement in the therapy regimen, less has been achieved in terms of enabling an earlier diagnosis: the neoplasia usually reveals its presence at an advanced stage, obviously affecting prognosis. The most frequent sites of secondary disease are shown to be lungs (50-60%), bone (30-40%), liver (30-40%) and brain (5%); while the head and neck district seems to account for less than 1% of patients with primary kidney lesion. We report here the case of a 70-year old man who presented with acute renal failure due to abdominal recurrence of RCC 18 years post nephrectomy. After a few months of follow up without any systemic therapy due to the renal impairment, the patient presented a vascularized tongue lesion that was demonstrated to be a secondary localization of the RCC. This lesion has, therefore, been treated with microsphere embolization to stop the frequent bleeding and to lessen the unbearable concomitant symptoms it caused, such as dysphagia and pain. A tongue lesion that appears in a RCC patient should always be considered suspect and a multidisciplinary study should be conducted both to assess whether it is a metastasis or a primary new lesion and to understand which method should be selected, if necessary, to treat it (surgery, radiation or embolization). Lingual metastasis should be examined accurately not only because they seem to implicate a poor prognosis, but also because they carry a burden of symptoms that not only threatens patients' lives but also has a strong impact on their quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-133
Number of pages4
JournalRare Tumors
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Kidney cancer
  • Lingual metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Histology


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