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Am J Surg Pathol. 1997 Jan;21(1):13-22.

Mixed tumors and myoepitheliomas of soft tissue: a clinicopathologic study of 19 cases with a unifying concept.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, North Carolina Baptist Hospitals, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, U.S.A.


We report 19 unusual cases of mixed tumors and myoepitheliomas arising in soft tissues. The neoplasms occurred in 12 males and seven females. The age at diagnosis ranged from 2 to 83 years (mean 35, median 30). Eight tumors arose in the upper limb, six in the lower limb, three in the trunk, and two in the head and neck region. Three cases involved both dermis and subcutis; the remainder arose in subcutaneous (13 cases) or deep subfascial soft tissue (three cases). The most common presenting complaint was a painless swelling, with duration ranging from 2 weeks to 1 year (median 2.5 months). Microscopically, the tumors were predominantly well circumscribed and lobulated. Six cases showed a focally infiltrative margin. Cardinal morphologic features included nests, cords, and ductules of epithelioid cells and/or nests of spindled cells within a hyalinized to chondromyxoid stroma. One tumor was predominantly composed of myoepithelial cells and devoid of epithelial differentiation (i.e., ductules). Cytoplasmic hyaline inclusions were noted in two cases; squamous differentiation was seen in one case. Osteoid production and/or metaplastic bone was observed in three tumors. Chondroid differentiation (usually mature) was seen in four cases. Adipocytic differentiation was seen in two tumors. Mitotic activity was variable but generally scant; atypical mitotic figures were not identified. By immunohistochemistry, 16 of 16 cases expressed pan-keratin; 16 of 17 S-100 protein; six of 14 alpha smooth muscle actin (IA4); two of 10 muscle specific actin (HHF-35); two of 10 desmin; three of 11 glial fibrillary acidic protein; and three of 16 epithelial membrane antigen. Clinical follow-up was available in 10 patients and ranged from 6 months to 20 years (mean 4.25 years, median 2 years). Two patients developed local recurrence; metastasis to lung and lymph nodes were observed in two additional patients. Both of the latter patients died. We believe that these findings expand the concept of cutaneous mixed tumors to include neoplasms composed predominantly of myoepithelial cells and to include tumors arising in deeper subcutaneous and/or subfascial tissues. The clinical behavior of such neoplasms, when arising in soft tissues, may be difficult to predict but is most often benign; however, a minority of lesions metastasize. Until larger studies with longer follow-up are available, treatment and prognostication are probably best based on criteria used in comparable salivary gland tumors.

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  • Parachordomas. [Am J Surg Pathol. 1997]
  • Pleomorphic adenoma. [Am J Surg Pathol. 1998]
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