Brain and thyroid metastasis from rectal cancer are uncommon, and the prognosis is poor. We report a patient with rectal cancer who developed metachronous lung, brain and thyroid metastases. Each metastatic lesion was curatively resected resulting in prolonged survival.
A 60-year-old male underwent rectal cancer resection, and the pathological diagnosis was tubular adenocarcinoma, pT2,pN1a,M0, pStageⅢa. Ten years after rectal resection, a solitary tumor in the left lung was detected. The tumor was resected thoracoscopically and the pathological diagnosis was metastatic tumor. Three years after the pulmonary resection, a solitary brain tumor was detected. The tumor was removed surgically, and the pathology was metastatic tumor. Two years after brain resection, a thyroid mass was detected. A partial thyroidectomy was performed and the pathology with immunohistochemical staining confirmed the thyroid lesion as a metastasis from the previous rectal cancer. Four years after thyroid resection (19 years after the initial rectal resection), he died from multiple lung and bone metastases.
Colorectal metastases to the brain and thyroid gland are uncommon and are usually found with other distant metastases. Overall survival has been reported to be extremely poor. In this patient, lung, brain, and thyroid metastases were solitary and metachronous, and each lesion was curatively resected. Surgical treatment might contribute to prolonged survival.
The treatment strategy of each patient should be individualized and depends on the timing of metastasis development. Selected patients with complete resection of metachronous metastases may have prolonged survival.