Metastatic disease to the parotid gland

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Dec;135(6):844-8. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2006.05.010.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to review the clinico-pathologic findings and outcome of patients with metastasis to the parotid lymph nodes and gland.

Methods: Retrospective study. Thirty-four out of 520 patients with a parotid mass treated at our institution met the criteria for this study. Age, gender, clinical findings, histopathology, treatment. and outcome were analyzed.

Results: Twenty-three patients had metastases to parotid lymph nodes from a squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, seven from a cutaneous malignant melanoma after a mean interval of 15 months, two from a ductal breast carcinoma, one with a metastatic disease from a rhabdomyosarcoma of the lower limb, and one from a Merkel cell carcinoma. The 5-year cause-specific and absolute survival for squamous cell carcinoma was 64% and 48% respectively and 71% and 57% for malignant melanomas.

Conclusions: Metastatic disease to the parotid gland is mostly caused by squamous cell carcinoma. Despite combined treatment modalities long-term survival remains poor.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parotid Gland / surgery
  • Parotid Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / secondary
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome