Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 939–942 | Cite as

Refractory Hypercalcemia in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Esophagus—a Case Report and Review of Literature

  • Hamza ArifEmail author
  • Moeezullah Beg
  • Sohaib Zahid
  • Moaz Sial
  • Aditya Talwar
  • Antonios Christou
  • Michael Babich
Case Report


Hypercalcemia is a commonly encountered issue in malignancy, occurring in nearly 20 to 30% of patients at some point during their disease course [1]. Although malignancy, including squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), and primary hyperparathyroidism are most frequently associated with hypercalcemia other causes have also been identified [2]. Hypercalcemia of malignancy in solid tumors is a poor prognostic sign and nearly 50% of patients die within 30 days [3]. Lung and breast cancer are two of the most common causes of hypercalcemia in malignancy, but it has also been observed in esophageal cancer, with frequency of up to 21% [4].

Four mechanisms responsible for hypercalcemia of malignancy have been described. Humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM), the most common cause, involves secretion of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP). Other factors include osteolytic metastases mediated by osteoclasts with release of cytokines, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol)...


Author Contributions

H. Arif, M. Beg and S. Zahid reviewed the literature and drafted the manuscript. M. Sial and A. Christou were involved in the care of the patient and edited the manuscript. A. Talwar provided and described pathology reports. M. Babich edited the final manuscript. H. Arif is the article guarantor.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was verbally obtained for this case report.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineAllegheny General HospitalPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionAllegheny General HospitalPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyAllegheny General HospitalPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of Hematology & OncologyAllegheny General HospitalPittsburghUSA

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