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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2006 Nov;47(6):806-10.

Salivary gland neoplasms in children: the experience of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan.

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Otorhinolaryngology Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy.



Epithelial salivary gland tumors are very uncommon in pediatric age. We report a series of 52 cases treated at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan, Italy, over a 30-year period. These results are presented in conjunction with a literature review of salivary tumors with a view to providing an up-to-date overview of the clinical course, prognosis, and treatment options for this rare tumor.


Fifty-two cases of epithelial salivary tumors were reviewed and the clinical-pathological information concerning tumor characteristics, therapy, and follow-up were collected. Patients' age ranged between 4 and 18 years.


The major salivary glands were the main site of tumor occurrence (79% of cases arose in parotid glands); 37 patients had benign tumors (pleomorphic adenoma), 15 had malignant tumors (12 mucoepidermoid carcinoma, 9 low grade). All the patients were treated by surgery; local relapses after parotidectomy were 4% and 25%, in benign and malignant tumors, respectively. When tumor enucleation was performed, recurrences occurred in 50% of benign neoplasms. At the time of the report, all patients with benign tumors were alive, 35(95%) without evidence of disease; only one patient with malignant tumor died of disease.


Epithelial salivary glands tumor in children had different characteristics compared with their adult counterpart with respect to the frequency of histotypes and site of occurrence, but their prognosis seems to be similar. Parotidectomy (total or superficial) is the best choice for achieving good cure rates in both benign and malignant tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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