Seeding of Gastrostomy Tube Site in Patient With Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Tongue: A Case Report

Bethaney Wescott, Sara Seegmiller, Osman Mohamed Elfadil, Jill Schneckloth, Ryan T. Hurt, Manpreet S. Mundi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enteral nutrition (EN) is a widely used therapeutic tool to provide nutrition support for patients with various clinical conditions, including different types of cancer. Head and neck cancers, often complicated by dysphagia, are among leading indications for enteral feeding. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ) tubes are typically used to deliver EN. This article presents a case report of a young male with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. Unfortunately, he developed metastasis of his cancer at the right lateral side of the PEG placement site, requiring surgical resection of seeded growth at the PEG site. This rare complication can be challenging, as it requires a high index of suspicion to diagnose and can potentially limit nutrition support options. A number of theories have been proposed to explain seeding during PEG/PEJ placement, including direct repositioning of malignant cells during instrumentation. A specific placement technique has not been shown to be superior, as seeding was reported with all placement techniques. However, given the lack of statistically powerful studies to describe this entity, there are still gaps we need to explore to better understand seeding of feeding tubes and best practices around diagnosis and early treatment. EN continues to be an important part of caring for patients with cancer during active or palliative treatments. Understanding potential risks in the setting of cancer metastasis is beneficial to the patients and multidisciplinary teams involved. Early recognition of possible seeding of feeding tube sites is necessary to ensure subsequent timely surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-653
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • enteral nutrition
  • gastrostomy tube
  • neoplasm seeding
  • nutrition support
  • tongue cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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