Benign leiomyoma with multiple metastases to vertebrae and calvarium: An index case with comprehensive review of endocrine targets

Elmaci I., Altinoz M., Ozlu B., Sari R., Er O., Danyeli A., ...More

NEUROSURGICAL REVIEW, vol.44, no.1, pp.289-300, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10143-020-01268-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.289-300
  • Keywords: Leiomyoma, Metastatic, Cranium, Vertebrae, Progesterone, Estrogen, GnRH modifiers, UTERINE LEIOMYOMA, SPINE, PATHOGENESIS, REVEALS
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


"Benign" metastatic leiomyomas (BML) are indolently growing metastatic tumors which mostly associate with uterine leiomyomas in women in reproductive ages. The reason to define these lesions as "benign" despite metastasis is their pathological features with low mitotic counts, lack of or minimal nuclear atypia, pseudocyst formation, and coagulative necrosis unlike leiomyosarcomas. Despite lack of pathological malignant features, they may cause significant morbidity and even mortality. Here, we describe a BML case with metastases to vertebrae and skull bones. Vertebral and skull metastases of BMLs were very rarely reported. In treatment of these tumors, hysterectomy and GnRH modifier treatments are widely employed. GnRH agonists act by desensitization and downregulation of the GnRH receptors, while GnRH antagonists act via the canonical competitive blockage. These treatments reduce FSH and LH levels, thereby reducing the systemic levels of sex steroids which stimulate leiomyoma growth. However, leiomyomas inherently harbor aromatase activity and synthesize their own estrogen; hence, treatment with systemic estrogen antagonists may provide better tumor control. Another important factor in BML pathogenesis is progesterone, and both progesterone receptor antagonists and high-dose progesterone receptor agonists may reduce BML growth. Following surgical treatment of the calvarial mass and radiotherapy of the vertebral metastatic foci, our BML case was successfully managed with hysterectomy and anastrozole treatment. Higher awareness of BML cases and their molecular endocrinological features in the neurosurgical community may pave to develop better strategies for treatment of these tumors causing high morbidity.