Secretion of βhCG from squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck

Justin H. Turner, Hillary Ross, Jeremy Richmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this report is to characterize the paraneoplastic syndrome of HCG production by rare, aggressive varieties of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Study Design: Case report and review of the literature Methods: A case of a woman with a HCG producing squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue base is presented with relevant literature discussed. Results: A 34 year old female presented with advanced base of tongue squamous cell cancer with diffuse metastatic disease including subcutaneous and brain lesions. HCG levels of both urine and serum were elevated and presented the dilemma of a possible pregnancy, which was eventually ruled out. A review of the literature found two other reported cases of very aggressive squamous cell cancer of the head and neck producing HCG, both of which occurred in men. Conclusions: Secretion of HCG from squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck appears exceedingly rare. This case constitutes the third case reported in the literature, all of which have been very aggressive. HCG production may present a diagnostic dilemma in female patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S256
Issue numberSUPPL.3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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