Ghost cell odontogenic carcinoma arising in the background of a calcifying odontogenic cyst

Oral Radiol. 2021 Jul;37(3):537-542. doi: 10.1007/s11282-020-00492-5. Epub 2020 Nov 27.


Ghost cell odontogenic carcinoma (GCOC) is a rare malignant neoplasm, representing 3% of all ghost cell lesions of the jaws. They can arise de novo or from a pre-existing calcifying odontogenic cyst (COC) or dentinogenic ghost cell tumour (DGCT). A systematic review of the literature reported only 12 cases of a GCOC arising from a pre-existing COC. This report highlights an additional case of a GCOC arising from a pre-existing COC after 3 years in an adolescent male. The patient initially presented with a painless swelling of the right mandibular corpus. Panoramic radiographic examination showed an expansive unilocular radiolucent lesion. After 3 years, the radiographic features appeared more aggressive with increased expansion and cortical perforation. A wide surgical resection was performed, whereby the lesion was diagnosed as a GCOC. Due to the rarity of these malignant neoplasms, limited information is available regarding their biological behaviour. One-year follow-up revealed no clinical signs of recurrence.

Keywords: Ghost cell lesions of the jaws; Malignant transformation; Maxillofacial radiology; Odontogenic cysts; Odontogenic tumours.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carcinoma*
  • Humans
  • Jaw Neoplasms*
  • Male
  • Mandible
  • Odontogenic Cyst, Calcifying* / diagnostic imaging
  • Odontogenic Cyst, Calcifying* / surgery
  • Odontogenic Tumors* / diagnostic imaging
  • Odontogenic Tumors* / surgery