A 47-year-old woman with nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma masquerading as a sinus infection: A case report and review of the literature

Safwan K. Elkhatib, Beth K. Neilsen, Richard L. Sleightholm, Michael J. Baine, Weining Zhen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background: Nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma is a rare, highly metastatic undifferentiated carcinoma that typically arises in midline structures and is characterized by having a fusion involving the nuclear protein in testis, NUT, gene. Nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma has been identified in patients of all ages and is often initially misdiagnosed due to the rapid timeline of symptom onset. Case presentation: Here we report the case of a 47-year-old Caucasian woman with a nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma that was initially mistaken for a sinus infection. After symptom progression while on an aggressive antibiotic regimen, the source of her symptoms was correctly identified as a sella mass. Comprehensive analysis of the tumor was performed, and standard cytogenetic analysis identified a translocation of 15q and 19p. Further testing identified a NUT-BRD4 fusion and confirmed the diagnosis of nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma. Despite definitive diagnosis and surgical, radiation, and, ultimately, systemic therapy, she progressed rapidly, developing widespread metastases, and ultimately died from the disease 5 months after diagnosis. Conclusions: Based on this and other previous reports, aggressive therapy should be initiated once nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma is diagnosed and close surveillance employed in an attempt to prevent and/or recognize metastases as early as possible. Aggressive therapy has shown little efficacy such that the average overall survival for patients with nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma is very short, often less than 6 months. Thus, early enrollment into clinical trials testing novel therapies for the treatment of nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma should be considered. Finally, additional reports of nuclear protein in testis midline carcinoma are needed to fully characterize this rare and highly aggressive cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 11 2019

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Keywords

  • Aggressive tumor
  • Case report
  • NUT midline carcinoma
  • NUT-BRD4 fusion
  • Nuclear protein in testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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