Lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the parotid glands and its relationship with benign lymphoepithelial lesions

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2008 Feb;132(2):278-82. doi: 10.1043/1543-2165(2008)132[278:LCOTPG]2.0.CO;2.


The salivary glands, despite their relatively simple morphology, give rise to more than 30 histologically distinct benign and malignant tumors. Salivary gland neoplasms comprise less than 2% of all tumors in humans and 3% of all head and neck tumors. They arise in the parotid gland in 80% of cases, and approximately 80% are benign and 20% are malignant. Among them are lymphoepithelial lesions, rare lesions of the salivary glands and especially of the parotid gland that are characterized by lymphocytic infiltration associated with an epithelial proliferation. They are divided into benign, which is considered as a tumorlike condition, and malignant, which is a rare carcinoma of the salivary glands. This article provides a review of the current knowledge on lymphoepithelial carcinoma with a look at its association with benign lesions and on the importance of making the correct diagnosis for the appropriate treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Metaplasia
  • Parotid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Parotid Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy Dosage