Benign and malignant salivary gland‐type mixed tumors of the lung. Clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of eight cases

Cesar A, Moran, Saul Suster, Frederick B. Askin, Michael N. Koss

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Background. Primary lung tumors showing features of salivary gland‐type neoplasms are extremely rare. Methods. Eight patients with primary lung neoplasms showing light microscopic and immunohisto‐chemical features of salivary gland‐type mixed tumors were studied. Results. The patients were six women and two men, ages 35–69 years (mean, 52.5 years). The tumors ranged from 2 to 16 cm in greatest diameter. In two patients the lesions presented as polypoid endobronchial lesions obstructing the lumen; in another two patients the lesions were found in close proximity or in continuity with a bronchus; in three patients, the lesions presented as peripheral parenchymatous nodules unrelated to a bronchus; and in one patient, the relationship to the bronchus could not be determined. Histologically, the lesions were biphasic, showing admixtures in varying proportions of epithelial elements containing a predominant myoepithelial cell population with a stromal component containing an abundant myxoid or focally chondroid matrix. Immunohistochemical studies showed strong positivity of the cells in the epithelial component with low molecular weight keratins (CAM 5.2), and to a lesser extent with broad spectrum keratin, actin, and vimentin antibodies. The cells also showed variable reactivity in the epithelial and nonepithelial elements with S‐100 protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein. Six tumors were grossly and histologically benign; in two patients, the tumors were larger, locally invasive, and showed more atypical histologic features. All patients were treated with surgical excision. On follow‐up, of the six patients with histologically benign‐appearing tumors, one was alive and well 6 years after surgery; another died 4 years after surgery of a second unrelated malignancy; one died during the immediate postoperative period of myocardial infarction; and three have been lost to follow‐up. In the two patients with histologically atypical lesions, the tumors recurred and metastasized after 2 and 3 years, respectively, with one of them leading to death caused by widespread metastases and superior vena cava syndrome. Conclusions. Review of the literature and the findings in the current series indicate that salivary glandtype mixed tumors of the lung may present with a spectrum of histologic features and clinical behavior, ranging from benign to frankly malignant, similar to that observed for their salivary gland counterparts. Size of the lesion at the time of presentation, extent of local infiltration, and degree of mitotic activity appear to be the most reliable prognostic features of these tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2481-2490
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1994


  • immunohistochemistry
  • malignant mixed tumors
  • mixed tumors of salivary glands
  • pleomorphic adenomas
  • salivary gland‐type lung tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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