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February 19, 1973

Renal Cell Carcinoma Metastases 25 Years After Nephrectomy

Author Affiliations

Medical University of South Carolina Charleston

JAMA. 1973;223(8):921-922. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220080051019

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To the Editor.—  The subject of this report is a patient who was found to have pulmonary metastases 25 years following a nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. This unusually long latent period stresses caution in accepting five-year survivals without known disease as cures. It also raises many questions regarding factors that might inhibit tumor growth for such periods.

Report of a Case.—  A 66-year-old man was admitted to the hospital on two occasions during the first six months of 1968 because of intermittent hemoptysis. At first, bronchoscopy revealed nothing unusual. An x-ray film of the chest revealed fibrous changes at the right lung base that had not changed in several years. There was also noted some fullness of the hilum of the right lung. During the second admission, there was an abnormal area in the bronchus of the lower lobe of the right lung (Fig 1). This was biopsied and