Primacy of surgery in the management of mucoepidermoid carcinoma in children

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Epithelial salivary gland neoplasms are rare in children. Malignant tumors account for 30% to 50% of cases in the pediatric age group, with mucoepidermoid carcinoma as the most common histology.


A retrospective medical record review was conducted from 1953 to 2007 to identify patients with mucoepidermoid carcinoma at the age of 18 years or younger at the time of diagnosis. Forty-nine patients were identified. Their medical records were examined for presentation, treatment, pathologic features, and outcomes.


Forty-nine pediatric patients with mucoepidermoid carcinoma were identified. The parotid gland (49%) and oral cavity (35%) were the most common subsites. Nodal metastasis was seen in 24% of patients. All patients underwent surgery, and 11 patients (22%) were treated with radiation therapy. The 5-year overall survival was 98%, the 10-year overall survival was 94%, and 10% of patients developed recurrence.


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma in children carries a favorable prognosis and can be successfully treated with surgery alone in most cases. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2011

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