Mucoepidermoid carcinoma

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Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma 2 - very high mag.jpg
Micrograph of a mucoepidermoid carcinoma. FNA specimen. Pap stain.
Classification and external resources
ICD-O M8430/3
OMIM 607536
MeSH C04.557.470.200.025.340

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common type of salivary gland malignancy in adults. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma can also be found in other organs, such as bronchi, lacrimal sac [1] and thyroid.

Mucicarmine staining is one stain used by pathologist for detection.[2]


Occurs in adults, with peak incidence from 20–40 years of age. A causal link with cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been strongly implicated in a 2011 research.[3]

Clinical Features[edit]

Presents as painless, slow-growing mass that is firm or hard. Most appear clinically as mixed tumors.


This tumor is not encapsulated and is characterized by squamous cells, mucus-secreting cells, and intermediate cells.[4]

Molecular biology[edit]

Mucoepidermoid carcinomas of the salivary and bronchial glands are characterized by a recurrent t(11;19)(q21;p13) chromosomal translocation resulting in a MECT1-MAML2 fusion gene.[5] The CREB-binding domain of the CREB coactivator MECT1 (also known as CRTC1, TORC1 or WAMTP1) is fused to the transactivation domain of the Notch coactivator MAML2 PMID 16444749.

A possible association with papillomavirus has been reported.[6]


Generally, there is a good prognosis for low-grade tumors, and a poor prognosis for high-grade tumors.

Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ Elsevier Article Locator
  2. ^ Modern Pathology – Primary Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma and Sclerosing Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma with Eosinophilia of the Thyroid Gland: A Report of Nine Cases
  3. ^ Melnick, M.; Sedghizadeh, P. P.; Allen, C. M.; Jaskoll, T. (2012). "Human cytomegalovirus and mucoepidermoid carcinoma of salivary glands: Cell-specific localization of active viral and oncogenic signaling proteins is confirmatory of a causal relationship". Experimental and Molecular Pathology. 92 (1): 118–125. PMID 22101257. doi:10.1016/j.yexmp.2011.10.011. 
  4. ^ Chenevert, J; Barnes, LE; Chiosea, SI (February 2011). "Mucoepidermoid carcinoma: a five-decade journey.". Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology. 458 (2): 133–40. PMID 21243374. doi:10.1007/s00428-011-1040-y. 
  5. ^ Chiosea, SI; Dacic, S; Nikiforova, MN; Seethala, RR (August 2012). "Prospective testing of mucoepidermoid carcinoma for the MAML2 translocation: clinical implications.". The Laryngoscope. 122 (8): 1690–4. PMID 22833306. doi:10.1002/lary.22419. 
  6. ^ Isayeva T, Said-Al-Naief N, Ren Z, Li R, Gnepp D, Brandwein-Gensler M (2012) Salivary mucoepidermoid carcinoma: Demonstration of transcriptionally active human papillomavirus 16/18. Head Neck Pathol

External links[edit]