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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Neuroendocrine small cell rectal cancer metastasizing to the liver: a unique treatment strategy, case report, and review of the literature

Bilal O Al-Jiffry12* and Owaid Al-Malki1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Taif University, P.O. Box 888, Taif 21947, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2 Department of Surgery, Al-Hada Military Hospital, P.O. Box 1347, Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2013, 11:153  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-11-153

Published: 11 July 2013


We describe the treatment of a 46-year-old Saudi man with advanced stage liver metastatic neuroendocrine rectal cancer. The patient presented with a large liver lesion and rectal bleeding. He was cachectic, with a firm tender mass 20 mm above the anal verge. Computed tomography (CT) showed a mass 9.5 × 13 cm in size in the right hemi-liver, abutting the middle hepatic vein. The patient refused treatment, and consulted another hospital. After 3 months, he presented with the same symptoms in addition to delirium. Colonoscopy showed an ulcerating anorectal mass, from which a biopsy was taken. Repeat CT showed an increase in the size of the liver lesion to 17 cm and no change in the pelvis. The final histopathology report identified anaplastic small cell carcinoma. The patient underwent extended right liver resection followed by abdominoperineal resection, then 13 cycles of chemotherapy and monthly somatostatin injections. At the most recent follow-up, the patient had been disease-free for 48 months. Surgical resection (R0) of the primary and secondary tumor, followed by platinum-based chemotherapy can result in good survival in cases of small cell carcinoma with large liver metastasis, irrespective of whether the primary or secondary tumor is resected first.

Extrapulmonary small cell cancer; Rectal cancer; Neuroendocrine liver metastasis; Large liver metastasis; Extended liver resection; Abdomino-perineal resection