Parathyroid carcinoma: Single centre experience

Clara Cunha, Sara Lomelino Pinheiro, Sara Donato, Carlos Tavares Bello, Helder Simões, Tiago Nunes Silva, Susana Prazeres, Delfim Doutel, Branca M. Cavaco, Valeriano Leite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Parathyroid Carcinoma is a rare malignant neoplasm, accounting for less than 1% of primary hyperparathyroidism cases. Parathyroid carcinomas are characterized by markedly elevated levels of PTH, severe hypercalcemia and established target organ damage. The authors report the experience of a single centre regarding the management and outcome of patients with parathyroid carcinomas and revise relevant literature. Design: Retrospective review of all patients with parathyroid carcinoma evaluated at a tertiary oncologic centre from 1991 until 2021. Results: Seventeen patients were identified (10 males), with a mean age at diagnosis of 53 ± 16 years and a median follow-up of 16.5 years. Most patients presented with hypercalcemia (n = 15), with a mean serum calcium concentration of 13.5 mg/dl (9.6–16.5) and mean PTH of 1173 pg/ml (276–2500). Hyperparathyroidism-mediated organ damage was observed in most patients (n = 16), with predominant renal (n = 12) and skeletal (n = 9) complications. En bloc surgical resection was performed in nine patients. Three patients underwent adjuvant radiotherapy. Recurrence was observed in 8 cases (47.1%) after a median of 24 months following surgery and no independent predictors of recurrence were identified. The overall survival and disease specific survival at 5-year was 88% and 94%, respectively. CDC73 mutations were present in 38.5% of analysed patients and one patient was diagnosed with MEN1. Conclusion: Parathyroid carcinoma is associated with a significant rate of recurrence and limited effective treatment beyond initial complete surgical resection. Therefore, preoperatively high index of suspicion is paramount to optimize patient care. This is, to our knowledge, the largest Portuguese cohort published so far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-257
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number3
Early online date4 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • carcinoma
  • CDC73 mutations
  • hypercalcemia
  • parathyroid neoplasms
  • primary hyperparathyroidism
  • recurrence
  • surgery


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