Primary tumors of the submandibular glands: a retrospective study based on 41 cases

Oral Oncol. 2010 Apr;46(4):287-91. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2010.01.011. Epub 2010 Feb 26.


We report our experience on the diagnostic approach, treatment, and follow-up of primary submandibular gland tumors. Retrospective review. Tertiary referral center. Forty-one adult patients, 22 male and 19 female, with primary submandibular gland tumors, 20 benign and 21 malignant. Age, gender, clinical findings, cyto- and histopathology, treatment and outcome were analyzed. Most tumors presented as a painless submandibular mass. Thirty three patients underwent a fine needle aspiration, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of which--in detecting malignant tumors--were 79%, 100% and 88%, respectively. Preoperative radiological imaging was performed in 30 cases. Patients with benign tumors were treated with surgery. Most malignant tumors were treated with a combined modality, including neck dissection and radiation therapy. Five patients developed a postoperative complication. Recurrent disease was encountered in 5 malignant tumors. The 2, 5 and 10 year disease-specific survival of patients with malignancy were 84%, 75% and 41%, respectively. The preoperative assessment of the nature of submandibular gland tumors remains challenging. Aggressive treatment of patients with malignant disease may help to avoid poor prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / pathology
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / therapy
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / pathology
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / therapy
  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Cystadenoma / pathology
  • Cystadenoma / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myoepithelioma / pathology
  • Myoepithelioma / therapy
  • Neck Dissection
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Submandibular Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Submandibular Gland Neoplasms / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome