Ghost cell odontogenic carcinoma with suspected cholesterol granuloma of the maxillary sinus in a patient treated with combined modality therapy: A case report and the review of literature

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Ghost cell odontogenic carcinoma (GCOC) is a rare malignant odontogenic tumor with aggressive growth characteristics.

Patient concerns:

A 41-year-old Chinese male visited our hospital in 2013, with a 4-month history of bloody purulent rhinorrhea with a peculiar smell in the right nasal cavity.


The patient suffered from recurrent GCOC with suspected cholesterol granuloma of the maxillary sinus. The patient was incorrectly diagnosed with a calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor at his first recurrence. Physical examination, radiological examination, and histopathology were used to identify GCOC.


Considering the recurrence of GCOC and poor effects of single surgery, postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy and concurrent chemoradiotherapy were performed after radical surgical excision.


So far, no significant evidence has suggested recurrence or metastasis after a long-term follow-up.


We advocate wide surgery with clean margins at the first accurate diagnosis. Combined modality therapy could be taken for the recurrent GCOC. We expect to provide a new treatment strategy to prevent the growth of this neoplasm.

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