Humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy: A syndrome in search of a hormone

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      A woman with hypercalcemia and a hypernephroma confined to the left kidney underwent nephrectomy and subsequent resolution of hypercalcemia. Serum parathyroid hormone was undetectable in peripheral blood as well as in the left renal vein at surgery. Parathyroid hormone was also undetectable in the tumor extract using three different antisera to parathyroid hormone. Measurement of plasma prostaglandin E and 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-prostaglandin E2 revealed levels within the normal range. The serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentration was below normal and nephrogenous cyclic adenosine monophosphate was markedly elevated. The humoral agent responsible for hypercalcemia in this patient was not identified. This case emphasizes the need to search for new hypercalcemic factors in patients with hypercalcemia of malignancy.
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