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Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma - Soft Palate Rads

last modified on: Tue, 05/29/2018 - 11:01

Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma - Soft Palate

  •  Malignant epithelial salivary gland neoplasm - 10% of all salivary tumors, 30% of all salivary malignancies 
  •  About 30% of these tumors arise from the minor salivary glands in the buccal mucosa and soft palate, the rest from major salivary glands
  •  Arises from ductal epithelium, has both epidermoid and mucinous components
  •  Appearance changes according to grade
    •  Low-grade lesions are well-circumscribed and inhomogeneous - may resemble pleomorphic adenoma
    •  High-grade lesions are invasive, ill-defined, with potential nodal involvement 
  •  Will enhance on contrast-enhanced CT
  •  MR imaging shows a hypointense lesion on both T1 and T2 weighting 
  •  Late recurrence is common - follow-up is necessary for at least ten years following resection
  •  Radiation exposure is a known risk-factor
  • Contains epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is overexpressed in approximately 2/3 of the cases.
    • This is contrasted with HER2+ which is expressed in less than 5%. Herceptin appears to have low activity even among the HER2+ cases. 


1. Taxy, J. "Pathology of head and neck neoplasms" Up to Date. Mar 26, 2018.