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Primary small cell neuroendocrine cancer of adrenal gland: a rare extrapulmonary small cell cancer
  1. Hafez Mohammad Ammar Abdullah1,
  2. Masroor Hassan2,
  3. Uzma Ikhtiar Khan3 and
  4. Moataz Ellithi1
  1. 1Internal Medicine, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
  2. 2Pathology, Northwest General Hospital and Research Center, Peshawar, Pakistan
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Khyber Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hafez Mohammad Ammar Abdullah; dr.ammarabdullah{at}


Small cell cancer is an aggressive neoplasm of neuroendocrine origin that is most commonly found in the lungs. However, up to 5% of cases can be extrapulmonary. These have been reported to be located in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems and rarely in other locations. Only five prior cases of small cell cancer have been reported where the primary lesion is at the adrenal gland. Here we present the case of a female patient in her mid-50s who presented with right upper quadrant pain and was diagnosed with metastatic small cell carcinoma of the adrenal gland. The patient received palliative chemotherapy for her metastatic cancer and was ultimately admitted to hospice after progression of her disease. This case and the accompanying literature review highlight a rare manifestation of extrapulmonary small cell cancer.

  • Endocrine cancer
  • Oncology

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  • Contributors HMAA and UIK were involved in writing the case presentation. ME and MH were involved in writing the introduction and discussion part.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.