Clear cell carcinoma of the minor salivary gland: an autopsy case with multiple metastases 29 years after the initial surgery and a review of the literature

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Clear cell carcinoma of the salivary gland is an uncommon tumor comprising about 1% of neoplasms of minor salivary glands. We report an autopsy case of a tumor with widespread metastases 29 years after initial surgery. At the initial presentation, the patient was a 48-year-old man with a small ulcerative tumor in the right hard palate, and the tumor was excised. Twenty-four years after the initial excision, the first recurrence was detected in the lung. Five years later, the patient died of widespread metastases of the disease at the age of 77. Specimens obtained at the initial excision and at autopsy were very similar histologically and immunohistochemically, and both were clear cell carcinoma of the salivary gland. The patient died of the disease after a very long disease-free period, which reinforces the classification of this tumor as a low-grade malignancy.

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