Unusual CNS presentation of thyroid cancer

Christopher R. Heery, Herbert H. Engelhard, Konstantin V. Slavin, Edward A. Michals, J. Lee Villano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


As advanced therapies allow cancer patients to live longer, disease failure in the central nervous system increases from limited therapeutic penetration. Primary thyroid malignancies rarely metastasize to the brain and have a small number of investigations in literature on the subject. The majority of brain metastases involve the brain parenchyma, reflecting the mass and blood distribution within the brain and central nervous system. Here, we report two cases of the most common differentiated thyroid cancers; follicular thyroid cancer having brain involvement from extra-axial growth and papillary thyroid cancer having brain involvement from a single intraventricular metastasis, presumed as metastasis from the vascular choroid plexus. Both of our cases had widespread systemic involvement. For our follicular thyroid cancer, brain involvement was a result of extra-axial growth from cavarial bone, and our papillary thyroid cancer had brain involvement from a single intraventricular metastasis that was initially resected and nearly a year later developed extensive brain involvement. Unlike the usual gray-white junction metastases seen in the majority of metastatic brain tumors, including thyroid, our cases are uncommon. They reflect differences in tumor biology that allows for spread and growth in the brain. Although there is growing genetic knowledge on tumors that favor brain metastases, little is known about tumors that rarely involve the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1109
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Brain tumor
  • CNS
  • Metastases
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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