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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2007 Jul;276(1):81-4. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Polymyositis in a patient with recurring ovarian cancer and history of unrelated breast cancer.

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Department of Gynecology, METAXA Memorial Cancer Hospital, Piraeus, Greece.



Polymyositis (PM) is an idiopathic inflammatory myopathy. Occasionally, it may present as a paraneoplastic syndrome and it is strongly associated with ovarian and weakly with breast cancer. We present here a case of a 60-year-old patient with sequential breast and ovarian (second primary) carcinomas followed by PM as a paraneoplastic disorder.


The patient had been diagnosed with stage I breast carcinoma 3 years ago and had been treated with conservative surgery followed by radiotherapy and six cycles of chemotherapy (CMF). One and a half year later an ovarian carcinoma was diagnosed for which the patient underwent abdominal hysterectomy oophorectomy and omentectomy. The pathological report characterized it as second primary. Adjuvant chemotherapy with carboplatin and taxol was administered. Fourteen months after the initial laparotomy, the patient was re-operated due to ovarian carcinoma recurrence which was involving all lesser pelvis organs. After a successful radical removal of the recurrence the patient developed a fully expressed PM. This case serves to remind that this disease can occur as a paraneoplastic disorder.

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