Extraordinarily long-inactive solitary fibrous tumor transformed to produce big insulin-like growth factor-2, leading to hypoglycemia and rapid liposarcoma growth: A case report

Keizo Kaneko, Shojiro Sawada, Chihiro Satake, Keiichi Kondo, Tomohito Izumi, Mamiko Tanaka, Junta Imai, Tetsuya Yamada, Hiroki Katsushima, Fumiyoshi Fujishima, Hideki Katagiri

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Background: A high-molecular-weight form of insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2), known as "big"IGF-2, is occasionally produced by various tumor types, leading to hypoglycemia. Although solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) is a rare mesenchymal neoplasm, it has been estimated that 4-6% of SFT patients develop hypoglycemia due to circulating big IGF-2. The mean time elapsed from tumor detection until the onset of hypoglycemia is reportedly less than one year (8.5 ± 1.9 months). Case presentation: A 68-year-old man was hospitalized for exacerbation of recurring hypoglycemic episodes. He had been diagnosed with an SFT 17 years before the onset of hypoglycemia, and the SFT had already been very large at that time. The tumor, which was non-resectable and refractory to chemotherapies, had slowly increased in size since the initial diagnosis. Half a year before the hypoglycemic episodes manifested, another tumor, adjacent to the left kidney, was newly identified. Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography scanning, revealed the left peri-renal tumor to show much higher fluorodeoxyglucose uptake than the preexisting SFT, suggesting that it was unlikely to be a metastasis from the SFT. Abundant serum big IGF-2 was detected by western immunoblot analysis, indicating it to be the cause of the hypoglycemia. Since the 17 years between SFT detection and the onset of IGF-2-induced hypoglycemia was an extremely long period as compared with those in previous reports, we initially suspected that the new, peri-renal tumor had produced big IGF-2, but transcatheter arterial embolization of its feeding arteries did not suppress hypoglycemia. Notably, by measuring the tumor volume doubling time, the peri-renal tumor growth was shown to be markedly accelerated in parallel with exacerbation of the hypoglycemia. The patient died of heart failure 21 months after the onset of hypoglycemia. Unexpectedly, autopsy revealed that big IGF-2 had been produced only by the preexisting SFT, not the peri-renal tumor, and that the peri-renal tumor was a dedifferentiated liposarcoma. Conclusions: We should keep in mind that even a long-inactive SFT can undergo transformation to produce big IGF-2, which then acts on both insulin and IGF-1 receptors, possibly leading to both hypoglycemia and the development/growth of another tumor, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148
JournalBMC endocrine disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 29


  • Case report
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insulin-like growth factor-2
  • Solitary fibrous tumor
  • Tumor growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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