Small Cell Variant of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma: A Possible Treatment

Document Type


Publication Date



Small cell variant of medullary thyroid carcinoma is an extremely rare histologic entity with a paucity of data. As such, there is a lack of literature and clinical experience regarding this disease. In this report, we examine a case of small cell variant of medullary thyroid carcinoma that presented with intractable nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While these symptoms were essentially refractory to the standard symptomatic treatment, further laboratory analysis revealed dramatically elevated calcitonin levels and mildly raised thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Interestingly, repletion of thyroid hormone and treatment with lanreotide resulted in an abatement of our patient's symptoms. This temporal clinical improvement highly suggests a potential role involving thyroid-stimulating hormone and calcitonin levels in the pathogenesis of this disease, and consequently suggests a role for thyroxine in treating the associated gastrointestinal symptoms.