A collision tumor of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and primary mantle cell lymphoma in the nasopharynx: a case report and review of the literature

BMC Oral Health. 2023 Sep 17;23(1):672. doi: 10.1186/s12903-023-03415-y.


Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is more common in men aged 40 to 59, and radiotherapy is an effective treatment. Nasopharyngeal lymphoma (NPL) is rare, and the coexistence of nasopharyngeal mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and NPC is even rarer. A collision tumor is a rare type of tumor that refers to two or more different tumors occurring in the same organ. No reports to date have described a collision tumor of NPC and MCL occurring within the same nasopharyngeal mass. We herein report the successful treatment of a unique case of synchronous coexistence of NPC and MCL occurring in the nasopharynx of a Chinese man.

Case presentation: A 58-year-old man presented with a 5-month history of swallowing discomfort. Biopsy was performed under nasopharyngeal endoscopy, and histopathology revealed NPC. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed lesions in the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and tonsils, as well as enlarged lymph nodes in the parotid gland, posterior ear, and neck. This may be a synchronous dual primary tumor coexisting with NPC and NPL. Pathology consultation confirmed that the biopsy specimen of the nasopharynx was a collision tumor of NPC and MCL. Positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET-CT) revealed thickening of the posterior wall of the nasopharynx, which was considered NPC with lymphoma. The enlargement of the pharyngeal lymph ring and multiple hypermetabolic lymph nodes were evaluated as lymphoma infiltration. The patient received two courses of R-CHOP chemotherapy (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) followed by head and neck radiotherapy. At the time of this writing, he had remained alive without recurrence for 61 months since the initial treatment and was still undergoing follow-up.

Conclusions: It is very important to correctly recognize collision tumors. Magnetic resonance imaging helps identify different components of collision tumors. Pathological examination helps to confirm the diagnosis. Histological examination reveals different components, and PET-CT can help determine the extent of the lesion. Dose-adjusted chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy may have promising herapeutic effects, but additional case studies are needed to confirm.

Keywords: Case report; Collision tumor; MRI; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; PET-CT; Primary mantle cell lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell* / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell* / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Nasopharynx
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography