A case report of secondary synchronous diagnosis of multiple myeloma and systemic lupus erythematosus after breast cancer treatment: A CARE-compliant article

Pei Hsin Chen, Heng Hsin Tung, Chin Husan Lin, Kuan Po Huang, Yung Lun Ni, Chin Yao Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Breast cancer (BC) is the most diagnosed cancer worldwide. Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematologic malignancy characterized by the overproduction of monoclonal antibodies in the bone marrow. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is distinguished by the aberrant activity of the immune system with heterogeneous clinical manifestations. The coexistence of more than one major illness in a patient can present a diagnostic challenge for clinical physicians, especially when the comorbid diseases share a similar clinical presentation. Herein, we report an unusual case of secondary synchronous diagnosis of MM and SLE after BC treatment. Patient concerns: A 69-year-old female patient with breast cancer experienced severe skin itching and rashes on the face, anterior chest wall, back, and trunk for two days before admission. She had high levels of immunoglobulin and anti-nuclear antibodies; low levels of complements 3 and 4; positive anti-cardiolipin-IgM, anti-beta 2 glycoprotein-1 (anti-β2GP1) antibodies, and lupus anticoagulant results at serological testing. Diagnosis: The postoperative pathology report showed ductal carcinoma in situ in the right breast. SLE was confirmed based on the 2019 European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology (EULAR/ACR) criteria. IgG-κ type multiple myeloma was confirmed by bone marrow biopsy, and the patient was synchronously diagnosed with SLE and MM after BC treatment. Interventions: Glucocorticoids and immunosuppressive agents, including intravenous hydrocortisone (5 g every 8 hours) and oral hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) (200 mg twice daily) were administered to treat SLE. One capsule of thalidomide 50 mg was administered orally every night at bedtime for MM. Outcomes: The patient died two days later, shortly after the administration of drugs, due to multiple organ failures secondary to pneumonia and respiratory failure. Conclusion: This is a case of MM and SLE after BC treatment. The present challenge was the early detection and accurate diagnosis of the secondary major illnesses, as the clinical manifestations were similar and non-specific between these two diseases. Awareness and prompt recognition of the common clinical symptoms of SLE and MM should be considered by clinical physicians to avoid delayed diagnoses and facilitate early treatment for a better prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E30320
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number35
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2022


  • breast cancer
  • case report
  • lupus erythematous
  • multiple myeloma
  • synchronous diagnosis


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