Clinicopathological relevance of the association between gastrointestinal and sebaceous neoplasms: the Muir-Torre syndrome
The association between sebaceous neoplasms of the skin and visceral cancers, known as Muir-Torre syndrome, is described in three patients, including one with an extensive history of cancer in his family. The first patient, a 54-year-old man, developed multiple sebaceous adenomas, epitheliomas, and carcinomas in association with a colonic carcinoma 6 years after cardiac transplantation. Family history in this patient disclosed colon cancer in 17 relatives. The second patient was a 51-year-old man who had recurrent adenocarcinoma of the sigmoid colon, adenocarcinoma arising in Barrett's esophagus, and sebaceous epithelioma during a period of 15 years. The third patient was a 90-year-old man with a sebaceous adenoma followed 5 months later by adenocarcinoma of the sigmoid colon with liver metastases. Muir-Torre syndrome in 129 other patients published in the literature is reviewed. Although it is a rare disease, Muir-Torre syndrome requires recognition because skin lesions may be the first sign of the syndrome and this may lead to early diagnosis of associated visceral cancers. Moreover, because this syndrome appears to be inherited, family members should be screened for visceral cancer, especially colorectal adenocarcinoma.