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Lung India. 2019 Mar-Apr;36(2):118-122. doi: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_284_18.

Primary salivary gland-type tumors of the lung: A systematic review and pooled analysis.

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Department of Surgery, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Department of Cancer Surgery, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India.



Primary salivary gland-type tumors of the lung (PSGTTL) are rare intrathoracic malignant neoplasms. Their description in literature is largely limited to a few case series and case reports. A systematic review and pooled analysis of the previously reported cases of PSGTTL is presented here.


Electronic database of PubMed using keywords "lung neoplasm" AND "salivary gland tumors" was used to identify the papers documenting the PSGTTL. Filters (publication date from January 1, 1900--December 31, 2015, Humans and English) were applied to refine the search. A pooled analysis of clinical, pathological, treatment, and survival data was performed.


The present systematic review included 5 studies and a total of 233 patients. Mean age of the patients was 41 years (range 6-80 years) and there was a male preponderance (1.3:1). Common pathological types were mucoepidermoid (MEC) (56.6%), adenoid cystic (ACC) (39.5%), and epithelial-myoepithelial cancer (3.8%). Tumors were located in the central airways (trachea and major bronchi) in 43.3% of patients. Weighted median tumor size was 4.2 cm. Surgery was the primary treatment undertaken in 82.4% of the patients, while radiotherapy and chemotherapy were also used in 15.9% and 9.4% of the patients. Lymph node involvement was seen in 15.2% of the patients. Disease recurrences were observed in 21.1% of the patients (12.9% and 37.5% in MEC and ACC, respectively). Three-, 5-, and 10-year weighted overall survival was 86.4%, 81.4%, and 73.6% (93.8%, 90.0%, and 85.0%, respectively, for MEC and 76.7%, 62.8%, and 50.5%, respectively, for ACC).


Surgery is the primary treatment of PSGTTL to achieve long-term survival. Role of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the management of PSGTTL warrants further studies.


Adenoid cystic cancer; lung neoplasms; mucoepidermoid cancer; pooled analysis; salivary gland neoplasms

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