Salivary duct carcinoma

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Purpose of reviewThe review puts new information on geno- and phenotype of salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) in the perspective of the updated 2017 WHO classification.Recent findingsThe proportion of SDC is increasing. This may be because of a true rise in incidence, but certainly to better diagnostic tests and changed WHO definitions. In this light, a substantial proportion of carcinoma expleomorphic adenoma is now attributed to the category of SDC. ‘Low-grade SDC’ and ‘SDC in-situ’ of the former WHO classification, are now named low-grade and high-grade intraductal carcinoma (IDC), respectively. Recent series quantify biologic aggressiveness: perineural growth, vascular invasion, and extracapsular extension in lymph node metastasis are each observed in two out of three patients with SDC. Most patients die within 3 years, but once 5-year disease-free survival is reached, further disease activity is exceptional. The typical molecular biological profile with high human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and androgen receptor expression is increasingly successfully exploited in clinical trials for advanced SDC.SummaryThe aggressive SDC is increasingly diagnosed. Despite intensive combined surgery and radiation therapy, many patients recur, for whom new bullets, targeting the molecular biological mechanisms, are the subject of ongoing clinical trials.

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