October 1986

Tumors of Unknown Origin in the Bone Marrow

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, and the Section of Hematology-Oncology, Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, Columbia, Mo.

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(10):2027-2028. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360220193031

• Tumors of unknown origin represent a common presentation of malignancy. However, tumors of unknown origin presenting as bone marrow metastases are infrequently reported. The records of 11 820 bone marrow biopsy procedures over a 15-year period at a university hospital and a veteran's hospital were reviewed, disclosing 25 cases of tumor of unknown primary site. Most of the patients were elderly and presented with bone pain or abdominal pain. Anemia, thrombocytopenia, and a leukoerythroblastic blood picture were common hematologic findings. Examination for detection of the primary site was usually unrewarding. The median survival of patients was very short (18 days) and therapy seldom altered survival.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:2027-2028)