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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010, Article ID 509530, 3 pages
Case Report

Metastatic Breast Cancer or Multiple Myeloma? Camouflage by Lytic Lesions

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA

Received 15 September 2009; Revised 18 January 2010; Accepted 11 February 2010

Academic Editor: William J. Gradishar

Copyright © 2010 Bruce Hough et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report a case of a female with stage I infiltrating ductal carcinoma who received adjuvant therapy including trastuzumab. One year later she developed lytic lesions and was retreated with trastuzumab that was held after she developed symptomatic heart failure. Lytic lesions were attributed to relapse of breast cancer, and cardiac failure attributed to prior trastuzumab therapy. After complications necessitated multiple hospitalizations, a further workup revealed that the lytic lesions were not metastatic breast cancer but multiple myeloma. Her advanced multiple myeloma was associated with systemic amyloidosis involving gut and heart, which ultimately led to her demise. This report addresses the pitfalls of overlapping symptoms and the question of which patients with suspected metastatic disease should undergo a biopsy.