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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Feb;97(2):E202-6. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-2321. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Carney complex with adrenal cortical carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University Health Network, and Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Carney complex is a genetically heterogenous multiple neoplasia syndrome. Adrenal cortical carcinoma is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis that is not recognized to be associated with this syndrome.


We report a 22-yr-old female presenting with Carney complex who developed adrenal carcinoma. The response to adjunctive therapy is also described.


We performed a detailed pathology review of the adrenal tumor to examine morphologic changes, Ki-67 labeling, and p53 expression. We also performed genetic testing of candidate genes and describe the response to radiation and kinase inhibition therapy.


The patient presented with an 8.5-cm adrenal mass with a MIB-1 labeling index of 20% and unequivocal angioinvasion classified as a T3NXM0 carcinoma. The nontumorous adrenal cortex revealed characteristic features of primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease. Genetic analysis revealed a novel PRKAR1 frame shift mutation resulting in a premature stop codon and a heterozygous p53 polymorphic substitution previously noted in other solid carcinomas. Disease recurrence in the liver showed partial response to combined stereotactic radiotherapy and sorafenib multikinase inhibition.


This represents an initial characterization of a malignancy among patients with Carney complex. Our findings have implications for disease surveillance and management of individuals with this genetic syndrome.

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