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November 23, 1970

Familial Pheochromocytoma, Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma, and Parathyroid Adenomas

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery (Drs. E. Paloyan, Pickleman, and D. Paloyan), pathology (Dr. Straus), and medicine (Dr. Scanu), University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital, which is operated for the Atomic Energy Commission.

JAMA. 1970;214(8):1443-1447. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180080025005

In a patient with bilateral malignant familial pheochromocytomas, medullary thyroid cancer, and parathyroid adenomas (Sipple's syndrome), high concentrations of calcitonin were assayed in the medullary cancer. A striking morphological similarity is noted between the medullary thyroid carcinoma and the metastases from the pheochromocytoma in this patient. The recently reported discovery of a calcitonin-like substance in the adrenal medulla and the morphological similarities between the pheochromocytomas' metastases and the calcitonin producing thyroid cancer are considered as evidence in support of the concept that this syndrome is a defect in a single (neuroectodermal) cell system.