Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Mediastinal germ cell tumour causing superior vena cava tumour thrombosis
  1. Suman S Karanth,
  2. Ashok K Vaid,
  3. Sandeep Batra,
  4. Devender Sharma
  1. Department of Medical Oncology, Medanta—The Medicity, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sandeep Batra, sandeepriya2000{at}


We report a rare case of a 35-year-old man who presented with a 1-week history of retrosternal chest pain of moderate intensity. A positron emission tomography CT (PET-CT) showed a large fluorodeoxy-glucose (FDG)-avid heterogeneously enhancing necrotic mass in the anterosuperior mediastinum with a focal FDG-avid thrombosis of the superior vena cava (SVC) suggestive of tumour thrombus and vascular invasion. α-Fetoprotein levels were raised (5690 IU/L). Image guided biopsy of the mediastinal mass was suggestive of non-seminomatous germ cell tumour (NSGCT). The patient received four cycles of BEP (bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin) along with therapeutic anticoagulation with low-molecular-weight heparin. Follow-up whole body PET-CT revealed complete resolution of mediastinal mass and SVC tumour thrombosis. The documentation of FDG-PET-avid tumour thrombus resolving with chemotherapy supports the concept of circulating tumour cells being important not only in common solid tumours such as breast and colon cancer but also in relatively less common tumours such as NSGCT. The detection of circulating tumour cells could help deploy aggressive regimens upfront.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.