Int J Thyroidol.  2020 Nov;13(2):170-174. 10.11106/ijt.2020.13.2.170.

An Unusual Case of Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Misidentified as Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

  • 1Department of Surgery and Research Institute for Medicinal Sciences, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea


Metastases from other organs to the thyroid are considered to be extremely rare. Among thyroid malignancies, anaplastic thyroid cancer exhibits similar features to a number of other cancers and can therefore be easily misdiagnosed. In addition to the fine needle aspiration commonly used for assessing thyroid lesions, metastatic tumors and primary thyroid cancers can be distinguished through approaches such as immunohistochemistry, taking into consideration the possibility of other primary cancers. Here, we present a case of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer that was misidentified as anaplastic thyroid cancer and discuss its diagnosis and treatment.


Thyroid cancer; Non-small cell lung carcinoma; Metastasis


  • Fig. 1 (A) 2.48×2.17 cm sized hypoechoic nodule at the right lobe was found on neck ultrasonogram after right lobectomy of lung. (B) Chest CT showed about 33 mm sized nodule (arrow) in right lower lobe with broad attachment in major fissure. (C) PET-CT showed increase uptake in right thyroid nodule (arrow) favor benign before thyroid surgery.

  • Fig. 2 Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) stained tissue section of lung mass (A), thyroid mass (B) (×200).

  • Fig. 3 Immunohistochemistry staining results of thyroid mass. (A) beta-catenin, (B) galectin-3, (C) Ki-67, (D) p53, (E) thyroglobulin, (F) TTF-1 and (G) vimentin.



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