Document Type





Objectives: Carcinoma of unknown primary origin (CUP) is heterogeneous group of cancers. Role of gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy in this entity is under investigated. Aim of this study was to evaluate yield of Colonoscopy and Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in localizing primary tumor in patients with CUP.

METHODOLOGY: Patients with histopathologically proven CUP who underwent colonoscopy / EGD to find the primary tumor from December 2009 to December 2011 were included in the study. Abdominal symptoms and cytokeratin (CK) 7 and 20 markers were correlated with presence of primary in GI tract.

Results: After giving informed consent 86 patients were included in final analysis. All patients underwent colonoscopy while 60(70%) got EGD along with colonoscopy. Mean age was 55.10 +/-11.94 years with 52(60%) male. Abdominal symptoms were present in 50%. CK7+/CK20- in 34(40%); CK7-/CK20+ in 2(2%) while CK7+/20+ in 7(8%) of metastatic tumor samples. Liver was metastatic site in 47(55%), Lymph node 12(14%) and Ascites in 8(9%). Endoscopy detected primary in 6 (7%) patients with 3 each in stomach and colon. No association of abdominal symptoms and cytokeratin markers was found with presence of GI primary site.

CONCLUSION: Yield of localizing primary lesion in the GI tract by pan-endoscopy was limited. Abdominal symptoms and cytokeratin markers do not predict presence of gastrointestinal malignancies.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences