Salivary Gland NUT Carcinoma with Prolonged Survival in Children: Case Illustration and Systematic Review of Literature

Head Neck Pathol. 2021 Mar;15(1):236-243. doi: 10.1007/s12105-020-01141-3. Epub 2020 Feb 19.


NUT (midline) carcinoma is a rare, highly aggressive, poorly differentiated carcinoma that characteristically harbors a rearrangement of the NUTM1 gene. Most of these tumors occur in adolescents and young adults, arise from the midline structures of the thorax, head, and neck, and are associated with extremely poor outcomes. Rare cases originating from salivary glands have been reported with clinicopathologic features comparable to NUT carcinoma of other sites. Outcome studies regarding this subgroup are currently lacking. We report a case of NUT carcinoma arising in a submandibular gland of a 12-year-old boy. Diagnosis was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrating fusion of the BRD4 (19p13.12) and NUTM1 (15q14) gene loci. A systematic review of all previously reported salivary gland NUT carcinomas (n = 15) showed exclusive occurrence of pediatric cases (n = 6) in males compared to adult patients (n = 9, male: female = 1:2; p < 0.05). The median survival was 24 and 4 months for pediatric and adult patients, respectively (95% confidence interval was 8-24 and 1-7 months, respectively; p < 0.01). The 1-year overall survival was 67% for pediatric and 11% for adult patients. Among all NUT carcinomas, pediatric salivary gland tumors may represent a distinct clinical subset associated with male predilection and comparatively prolonged survival.

Keywords: BRD4-NUTM1; NUT; Pediatric; Salivary gland tumor; Survival.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Child
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / genetics
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / mortality
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • BRD4 protein, human
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • NUTM1 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Transcription Factors