IJCEM Copyright © 2008-All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711
Int J Clin Exp Med 2013;6(2):105-109

Original Article
Dermatomyositis as an early manifestation and a significant clinical precursor of
lung cancer: report of a rare case and review of the cur-rent literature

Tsoukalas Nikolaos, Tolia Maria, Kostakis D Ioannis, Lypas Georgios, Pistamaltzian Nikolaos, Demiri Stamatina, Panopoulos
Christos, Koumakis Georgios, Barbounis Vasileios, Efremidis Anna

Second Department of Medical Oncology, “Saint Savvas” Anticancer Hospital, Alexandras Avenue 171, 115 22, Athens, Greece
Received November 14, 2012; Accepted January 5, 2013; Epub January 26, 2013; Published February 6, 2013

Abstract: Dermatomyositis represents an idiopathic inflammatory connective-tissue disease, characterized by inflammation of the
muscles and the skin. There is a high incidence of malignancy in patients with dermatomyositis. The main purpose of the present
paper is to describe and underline the clinical significance of dermatomyositis manifestations as a precursor and early clinical signs of
small cell lung cancer. A physical examination, laboratory tests, anti-Jo-1 antibody and muscle biopsy were performed. The most
important findings were SGOT 284 IU/L, CPK 11083 IU/L, aldolase 76.3 IU/L (normal values <7.6). The patient was treated with
chemotherapy and a significant improvement of clinical and laboratory findings were noted. The diagnosis of lung cancer could be
correlated with the clinical existence of dermatomyositis. Increased awareness is needed regarding the association of
dermatomyositis with malignancies in order to achieve correct and timely diagnosis of the underling cancer. (IJCEM1211004).

Keywords: Dermatomyositis, early manifestation, precursor, lung cancer

Address correspondence to: Dr. Nikolaos Tsoukalas, Medical Oncologist, Consultant at “Saint Savvas”, Anticancer Hospital,
Gennimata N. 10-12 Ampelokipi 11524, Athens, Greece. Phone: +30 6977366056; Fax: +30 2107494095; E-mail: tsoukalasn@med.
uoa.gr