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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 160-162

An unusual, delayed, solitary manifestation of a penile lesion in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Department of Urology, Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE

Date of Submission09-Dec-2022
Date of Decision09-Feb-2023
Date of Acceptance03-Mar-2023
Date of Web Publication31-Mar-2023

Correspondence Address:
Tariq Abdul Hamid
Department of Urology, Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iju.iju_424_22

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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in the adult western population. It is characterized by the proliferation of mature but dysfunctional lymphocytes, primarily CD5+ B cells. It primarily affects the reticuloendothelial system in the majority of the cases, but can rarely manifest as extranodal and extramedullary lesions. One of the rare presentations is genitourinary cutaneous infiltration, and only a handful of cases of secondary metastases to the genitourinary skin, have been reported in the literature. The current report describes a patient with solitary lesion of CLL in the penis, manifesting almost two decades after the complete treatment of CLL.

How to cite this article:
Hamid TA, Elmekresh A, Bagheri F. An unusual, delayed, solitary manifestation of a penile lesion in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Indian J Urol 2023;39:160-2

How to cite this URL:
Hamid TA, Elmekresh A, Bagheri F. An unusual, delayed, solitary manifestation of a penile lesion in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Indian J Urol [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 May 31];39:160-2. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia affecting the adult population in the developed countries. It is characterized by the proliferation of mature but dysfunctional CD5+, CD19+, CD20+, CD23+, and CD10 − clonal lymphocytes. The disease primarily affects the peripheral blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen in the majority of the cases. Extramedullary and extranodal involvement can rarely be seen in these patients at the time of diagnosis.[1] Leukemia cutis, an uncommon presentation of CLL, is characterized by any type of cutaneous infiltration by the leukemic cells, including the infiltration of the genitourinary skin.[2] Penile manifestation of CLL is rarely reported, and globally, only 30 such cases have been reported to date,[3] with the first being reported in 1953.[1] In this report, we describe a patient with solitary lesion of CLL in the penile skin, presenting several years after complete treatment and remission of CLL.

   Case Report Top

A 63-year-old male patient presented with lower urinary tract symptoms and was diagnosed to have benign prostatic enlargement. He also complained of itching sensation on the penis and had a past history of CLL stage IIA non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, for which he had received treatment and was in remission for the last 17 years. On physical examination, a 1-cm subcutaneous lesion was palpable at the level of the coronal sulcus [Figure 1], and was treated as an abscess with topical and oral antibiotics, but showed no improvement.

After 4 weeks, the lesion was excised, and the histopathological examination showed angiofollicular lymphoid hyperplasia with eosinophilia and was positive for CD20, CD3, and Ki67, indicating the predominance of B cell component with heavy inflammation and abscess formation. Hence, the patient was referred to the hematology department and was started on acalabrutinib 100 mg twice a day. The patient's follow-up visits, both in the department of urology and hematology, were unremarkable. On the subsequent urology visit after 24 weeks, the patient complained of a painful swelling on the dorsal aspect of the coronal sulcus, which was excised. The histopathology and immune-histochemistry studies revealed an atypical lymphoproliferative lesion suggestive of small lymphocytic lymphoma without transformation [Figure 2], for which the hematologist's advised to continue acalabrutinib 100 mg twice daily.
Figure 1: A 1 cm subcutaneous lesion noted at the level of the coronal sulcus

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Figure 2: Atypical diffuse lymphoproliferative lesion

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At 32 weeks follow up, the patient had persistent lesion which was re-excised and the histopathology results demonstrated diffuse deep atypical lymphoproliferative infiltrates consistent with low-grade small cell lymphoma, which was strongly positive for CD20, CD5, and bcl-2, moderately positive for CD23, and weak to moderately positive for CD43 and bcl-6. Hematology review was requested and the patient was started and maintained on acalabrutinib and venetoclax with subsequent follow-ups demonstrating complete remission of the penile lesion, without an evidence of any acute symptoms or tumor lysis syndrome.

   Discussion Top

CLL is an indolent cancer diagnosed by the presence of persistently elevated (for >3 months) monoclonal B-lymphocytes (≥5 × 109/L) in the peripheral blood and the expression of dysfunctional CD5+, CD10−, CD19+, CD20+, and CD23+ clonal lymphocytes on immuno-phenotyping. These patients can rarely present with clinical features of extramedullary or extranodal involvement.[1] Up to 15% of the cases with myeloid disorders and 4%–20% of the patients with CLL may present with cutaneous involvement.[2] Although the genitourinary system is an uncommon site of involvement in CLL, leukemic infiltration should be suspected in a previously diagnosed/treated case of CLL who presents with urological symptoms.[1]

In the most of the previously reported cases, the penis was involved by secondary metastasis rather than by a delayed primary lesion as in our case. Metastatic lesions commonly spread to the penis via the venous, arterial, or the lymphatic routes, as well as by direct extension or iatrogenic implantation.[4] Primary cancers metastasizing to the penis include prostate, bladder, colon, and kidneys, however, penile involvement by CLL is extremely rare.[5] The penile metastasis clinically presents as either penile nodules, skin lesions, or as malignant priapism, but presentation as a solitary penile lesion is rare.[6] Some investigators propose that retrograde lymphatic spread could explain the infiltration of the foreskin and superficial fascia.[7] Diagnosis can be made by a thorough physical examination followed by imaging studies including computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.[8] Currently, the diagnosis of metastatic or primary penile lesion depends on the pathological examination of the tissue specimen.[8]

As per the literature review, secondary metastasis was the most common cause of genitourinary involvement in the majority of the cases of CLL, contrary to the current case, who presented with a penile lesion almost two decades after the complete remission of CLL. This lead us to conclude that the penile lesion in our patient was a primary delayed penile CLL.

The treatment of choice for the majority of cases with secondary penile lymphoma is systemic chemotherapy, owing to the good functional as well as cosmetic results.[6] The index case also received acalabrutinib and venetoclax with good response and the penile lesion resolved completely. Radical surgery should be reserved for cases who do not respond to systemic therapy.[3],[6] Similarly, partial or total glans resurfacing can be performed for noninvasive penile lesions, in patients with relapse after topical chemotherapy.[9] Other therapeutic options include laser ablation, photodynamic therapy, and Moh's micrographic surgery.[6]


Informed consent was taken from the patient, can be provided upon request.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given his consent for his images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that his name and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship: Nil.

Conflicts of interest: There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

D'Arena G, Guariglia R, Villani O, Martorelli MC, Pietrantuono G, Mansueto G, et al. An urologic face of chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Sequential prostatic and penis localization. Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2013;5:e2013008.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ng A, Gurun M. Cutaneous manifestation of leukaemia on the penis-the possible implications. J Surg Case Rep 2020;2020:rjaa549.  Back to cited text no. 2
TimoçinYiğman G, Peker AA, Sharifov R, Toprak H. Secondary involvement of the penis by non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Bezmialemsci 2021;9:363-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kuliavas J, Dulskas A, Drachneris J, Miseikyte-Kaubriene E, Samalavicius NE. Penile metastasis from rectal carcinoma: Case report and review of the literature. Visc Med 2018;34:389-92.  Back to cited text no. 4
Antoniou C, Stefanaki C, Ioannidou D, Tasidou A, Pigaditou A, Katsambas A. Recurrent penile ulcer as a manifestation of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Int J STD AIDS 2008;19:795-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
Mearini L, Colella R, Zucchi A, Nunzi E, Porrozzi C, Porena M. A review of penile metastasis. Oncol Rev 2012;6:e10.  Back to cited text no. 6
Zhang K, Da J, Yao HJ, Zheng DC, Cai ZK, Jiang YQ, et al. Metastatic tumors of the penis: A report of 8 cases and review of the literature. Medicine (Baltimore) 2015;94:e132.  Back to cited text no. 7
Davidson T, Domachevsky L, Giladi Y, Fridman E, Dotan Z, Rosenzweig B, et al. Penile secondary lesions: A rare entity detected by PET/CT. Sci Rep 2021;11:5912.  Back to cited text no. 8
Manjunath A, Brenton T, Wylie S, Corbishley CM, Watkin NA. Topical Therapy for non-invasive penile cancer (Tis)-updated results and toxicity. Transl Androl Urol 2017;6:803-8.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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