2010 Volume 120 Issue 6 Pages 1197-1202
We studied the clinical characteristics of 48 cases of dermatomyositis associated with malignancy seen in our department. The results can be summarized in the following 7 points. 1. The common types of malignancy in dermatomyositis were stomach cancer (13 cases), lung cancer (10 cases), and malignant lymphoma (6 cases). 2. Malignancies of the female sexual organs, such as ovarian carcinoma (5 cases) and breast cancer (5 cases), were associated with dermatomyositis in female patients. 3. We reviewed the time relationships between dermatomyositis and malignant neoplasms. In the group of dermatomyositis arising during the course of malignant neoplasms, breast cancer and ovarian carcinoma were most common (4 out of 5 cases). In the group of patients in whom dermatomyositis and cancer arose simultaneously, the type of cancer was mainly stomach cancer (9 out of 13 cases). Lung cancer was the most common in the group of patients in whom cancer occurred after the diagnosis of dermatomyositis (4 out of 8 cases). 4. The most specific skin symptom in dermatomyositis associated with cancer was obvious edematous facial erythema. Heliotrope erythema was also seen in the cancer-associated group, but did not reach statistical significance. 5. All of the 8 cases of dermatomyositis with skin bulla formation were associated with cancer. 6. The frequency of the myositis was not statistically significantly different between cancers associated or not associated with dermatomyositis. However, about 40% of the cases of cancer associated with dermatomyositis, were notably resistant to therapy and exhibited prolonged muscle weakness. 7. In the group of dermatomyositis patients associated with cancer, 8 cases (16.7%) had interstitial pneumonia. This pneumonia was not fatal in any of them.