Glomus Tumor at Tracheal Carina

VIDEO | 04:00

In this case study, thoracic surgeon Robert Downey describes Memorial Sloan Kettering’s approach to the diagnosis and treatment of a rare glomus tumor situated at the tracheal bifurcation in a male marathon runner. The tumor had been diagnosed elsewhere as a leiomyosarcoma. Upon pathologic examination, however, director of Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology Cristina Antonescu explains diagnosing the lesion as a glomus tumor. This low-grade tumor responds to limited resection and requires no additional therapy. Following review of the case at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Thoracic Tumor Board, Dr. Downey resected the tumor located in the right stem bronchus, which is a relatively challenging location in which to operate because it is shorter than the left stem. He describes cutting across the airway above the tumor and at an angle below it, and reattaching the right lung to the trachea in an approach similar to a lung transplant. The patient was discharged after several days in the hospital and six months later was able to complete the Boston Marathon. The case illustrates the importance of an accurate diagnosis, pathological expertise, and surgical experience — particularly in the management of rare cancers.