Salivary duct carcinoma--a highly aggressive salivary gland tumour with overexpression of c-erbB-2

J Pathol. 1994 Jan;172(1):35-44. doi: 10.1002/path.1711720108.


The clinicopathological and immunocytochemical features of nine cases of salivary duct carcinoma are described. This relatively rare tumour, which only recently has been widely recognized as a separate entity, is highly malignant and caused the death in eight of the patients. The tumour cells are arranged in cribriform and solid growth patterns, where the solid tumour nests frequently have comedo necrosis, and a fibrous, often sclerotic, stroma is present. The infiltrating desmoplasmic component and the diffuse invasive growth into adjacent adipose parotid tissue have similarities to ductal breast carcinoma. Immunocytochemical investigation of salivary duct carcinoma showed constant overexpression of c-erbB-2 as detected by membrane accentuation, and high proliferative activity as detected by nuclear positivity for MIB 1 (Ki-67). Changes in the expression of p53 and retinoblastoma gene product do not constitute a constant event in salivary duct carcinoma. A few of the tumours showed scattered cells with distinct nuclear positivity for both progesterone and oestrogen receptors. We emphasize that this highly malignant salivary gland tumour has a characteristic morphology, may not be as rare as previously considered, and that prompt and aggressive therapy is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Division
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Necrosis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Parotid Gland / pathology
  • Parotid Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Parotid Neoplasms / genetics
  • Parotid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / analysis*


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptor, ErbB-2