Scientific Online Resource System

Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. Medicine and Ecology Series

An interesting case of mucoepidermoid carcinoma with rare localization

Lyuben Stoev, Ina Kobakova, George St. Stoyanov


The mucoepidermoid carcinoma constitutes the majority of malignant neoplasms found in both major and minor salivary glands. It consists of various proportions of mucous, epidermoid, intermediate, columnar, and clear cells, and is often cystic in pattern. Most of them (84–93%) arise within the parotid glands. On rare occasions, it may also occur within the submandibular or the sublingual gland.

We present here a case of a 47-year-old man with painless mass in the region of his right submandibular gland persisting with voice change and swallowing difficulty. Radical neck dissection provided a large oval material sized 13/11 cm with a tumor formation sized 5/7 cm, grossly presented with multiple cyst cavities filled with hemorrhagic and purulent infiltrate. The growing edge of the tumor was surrounded by multiple identical whitish satellites; one of them distinguishing in size – approximately 2 cm in diameter. Histologically the tumor and the satellites appear with epidermoid, intermediate and mucus-excreting cells with atypia and necrotic fields; with lymphoid infiltration and invasion in the surrounding soft tissues, as well as a metastasis in one of the regional lymph nodes.

This case is an example of both rare location and a typical satellite growth pattern. According to the literature, it might be suggested that this type of growth is also associated with poor prognosis.


mucoepidermoid carcinoma, tumor satellites, submandibular salivary gland

Full Text


Chandana SR, Conley BA. Salivary gland cancers: current treatments, molecular characteristics and new therapies.. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. 2008; 8:645-652. Accessed 8/3/2011.

American Cancer Society. Salviary Gland Cancer. Learn About Cancer. 2011; Accessed 8/3/2011.

Goode RK, Auclair PL, Ellis GL (April 1998). "Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the major salivary glands: clinical and histopathologic analysis of 234 cases with evaluation of grading criteria". Cancer 82(7): 1217–24. PMID 9529011

Brandwein MS, Ivanov K, Wallace DI, et al. (July 2001). "Mucoepidermoid carcinoma: a clinicopathologic study of 80 patients with special reference to histological grading". Am. J. Surg. Pathol. 25 (7): 835–45. PMID 11420454

Bell, RB.; Dierks, EJ.; Homer, L.; Potter, BE. (Jul 2005). "Management and outcome of patients with malignant salivary gland tumors.". J Oral Maxillofac Surg 63 (7): 917-28. PMID 16003616.

Jakobsson PA, Blanck C, Eneroth CM. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the parotid gland. Cancer. 1968;22:111–124. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(196807)22:1<111::AID-CNCR2820220114>3.0.CO;2-J. [PubMed] [CrossRef]

Evans HL. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of salivary glands: a study of 69 cases with special attention to histologic grading. Am J Clin Pathol. 1984;81:696–701. [PubMed]

Healey WV, Perzin KH, Smith L. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of salivary gland origin. Classification, clinical-pathologic correlation, and results of treatment. Cancer. 1970;26:368–388. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(197008)26:2<368::AID-CNCR2820260219>3.0.CO;2-K.[PubMed] [CrossRef]

Batsakis JG, Luna MA. Histopathologic grading of salivary gland neoplasms: I. Mucoepidermoid carcinomas. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1990;99:835–838. [PubMed]



Font Size