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Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2004 Jun;24(3):157-60.

Clear cell carcinoma of minor salivary gland of the tongue.

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  • 1Otorhinolaryngology Unit, Azienda S. Anna, Cantù and Mariano Comense Hospital, Monza, Italy.


The case of a clear cell carcinoma of a minor salivary gland, at the basis of the tongue, is described, which represents 1% of malignant tumours of salivary glands. The biological behaviour is not very aggressive and development, which is very slow, is usually asymptomatic, and, indeed, the tumour often reaches considerable dimensions before being diagnosed. There are rare cases of local recurrence and distant metastases. Cases of salivary glands which have become sites of secondary localization of a clear cell tumour, originating in the kidneys, have been described. The interest in the form described here stems from the slow evolution and the considerable dimensions reached by the tumour before being diagnosed, despite development in a breathing or digestive area such as the oralpharyngeal tract. In the present case, computed axial tomography and nuclear magnetic resonance were used to reach the diagnosis. The patient was submitted to surgical treatment. In the differential diagnosis, it is necessary, from a pathological point of view, to take into consideration other neoplastic formations, such as acinar cell adenocarcinoma, epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma, clear cell oncocytoma, sebaceous adenoma and sebaceous carcinoma.

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