Clinico-pathological study of esophageal mucoepidermoid carcinoma: a 10-year survival from a single center

BMC Gastroenterol. 2024 May 8;24(1):156. doi: 10.1186/s12876-024-03215-w.


Background: Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma of the Esophagus (MECE) is a relatively rare tumor type, with most of the current data derived from case reports or small sample studies. This retrospective study reports on the 10-year survival data and detailed clinicopathological characteristics of 48 patients with esophageal MEC.

Methods: Data were collected from 48 patients who underwent curative surgery for esophageal MEC at the Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2020. These were compared with contemporaneous cases of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC) and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (EAC). Using the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate Cox regression analysis, we investigated the clinicopathological factors affecting the survival of patients with MEC.

Results: The incidence of MECE was predominantly higher in males, with a male-to-female ratio of approximately 7:1. The mid-thoracic segment emerged as the most common site of occurrence. A mere 6.3% of cases were correctly diagnosed preoperatively. The lymph node metastasis rate stood at 35.4%. The overall 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year survival rates for all patients were 85.4%, 52.1%, 37.0%, and 31.0%, respectively. Post 1:1 propensity score matching, no significant statistical difference was observed in the Overall Survival (OS) between MEC patients and those with Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC) and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (EAC) (P = 0.119, P = 0.669). Univariate analysis indicated that T staging and N staging were the primary factors influencing the prognosis of esophageal MEC.

Conclusions: MECE occurs more frequently in males than females, with the mid-thoracic segment being the most common site of occurrence. The rate of accurate preoperative endoscopic diagnosis is low. The characteristic of having a short lesion length yet exhibiting significant extramural invasion may be a crucial clinicopathological feature of MECE. The OS of patients with MEC does not appear to significantly differ from those with esophageal squamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Keywords: Carcinoma; Diagnosis; Metastasis; Mucoepidermoid; Prognostic.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma* / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid* / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid* / surgery
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / mortality
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / pathology
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate

Supplementary concepts

  • Adenocarcinoma Of Esophagus