Salivary gland myoepithelial carcinoma

Clin Transl Oncol. 2015 Nov;17(11):847-55. doi: 10.1007/s12094-015-1329-4. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


Salivary gland myoepithelial carcinoma (MC) or malignant myoepithelioma is a rare entity. MC usually presents as a slow-growing painless mass arising in the parotid gland, but may involve other salivary glands. This tumour may be particularly locally aggressive, but its clinical and biological features are not yet fully understood. MC may arise from pre-existing benign lesions, such as pleomorphic adenomas or benign myoepitheliomas, or may arise de novo. It usually affects patients over 50 years old, with no gender preference. Because it is often asymptomatic, the presentation and diagnosis can be delayed by months, even years. The current WHO classification considers MC to be an intermediate- to high-grade malignancy. Other published data suggest it is likely to be a high-grade neoplasm, consistent with its aggressive behaviour. Its epidemiology, histopathological features, immunohistochemical profile, clinical behaviour and optimal management are not well understood. Following review of the current literature we aim to address these.

Keywords: Malignant myoepithelioma; Myoepithelial carcinoma; Salivary gland tumours.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma*
  • Humans
  • Myoepithelioma*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms*