Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Oncol. Jan 24, 2024; 15(1): 159-164
Published online Jan 24, 2024. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v15.i1.159
Radiotherapy for hyoid bone metastasis from lung adenocarcinoma: A case report
Jonathan Hsu, Kambridge Hribar, Joseph Poen
Jonathan Hsu, Medical School, California University of Science and Medicine, Colton, CA 92324, United States
Kambridge Hribar, Department of Otolaryngology, ENT Consultants of Marin, Greenbrae, CA 94904, United States
Joseph Poen, Radiation Oncology, Marin Cancer Care, Greenbrae, CA 94904, United States
Author contributions: Hsu J contributed to data collection and manuscript writing; Hribar K and Poen J both provided patient data, conceptualization, and supervision; and all authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
Informed consent statement: Informed written consent was obtained from the patients for the publication of this report and any accompanying images.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
CARE Checklist (2016) statement: The authors have read the CARE Checklist (2016), and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the CARE Checklist (2016).
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Jonathan Hsu, Medical Assistant, Medical School, California University of Science and Medicine, 1501 Violet Street, Colton, CA 92324, United States.
Received: November 28, 2023
Peer-review started: November 28, 2023
First decision: December 7, 2023
Revised: December 21, 2023
Accepted: January 3, 2024
Article in press: January 3, 2024
Published online: January 24, 2024

Metastasis to the hyoid bone is an exceptionally rare occurrence, with documented cases limited to breast, liver, colon, skin, lung, and prostate cancers. This report highlights an unusual case involving the metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma to the hyoid bone, accompanied by a distinctive headache. Previous documentation involved surgical resection of the hyoid mass. We present a case displaying the benefits of palliative radiotherapy.


A 72-year-old non-smoking, non-alcoholic woman, initially under investigation for a year-long elevation in absolute lymphocyte count, presented with a month-long history of intermittent throat pain. Despite negative findings in gastroenterological and otolaryngologic examinations, a contrast-enhanced chest computed tomography scan revealed a mediastinal mass and questionable soft tissue thickening in her left anterolateral neck. Subsequent imaging and biopsies confirmed the presence of lung adenocarcinoma metastasis to the hyoid bone. The patient was treated with platinum-based chemo-immunotherapy along with pembrolizumab. Ultimately, the lung cancer was unresponsive. Our patient opted for palliative radiation therapy instead of surgical resection to address her throat pain. As a result, her throat pain was alleviated, and it also incidentally resolved her chronic headaches. This is the second documented case of lung adenocarcinoma metastasizing to the hyoid bone.


Palliative radiotherapy may add to the quality of life in symptomatic patients with cancer metastatic to the hyoid bone.

Keywords: Metastasis, Radiotherapy, Adenocarcinoma, Hyoid, Throat, Headache, Case report

Core Tip: Metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma to the hyoid bone is exceedingly rare. This case report spotlights the value of palliative radiation therapy for throat pain in patients with tumors metastatic to the hyoid bone.