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Poorly differentiated small-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the submandibular gland: A case report

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April 1, 2012
by Mary Scaduto, MD, Laura Matrka, MD, Manisha Shah, MD, Paul Wakely Jr., MD, and Enver Ozer, MD


Neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) is uncommon in the head and neck and rare in the salivary glands. In the latter location, it may manifest as pain or a palpable mass. These tumors can be quite aggressive, with a tendency toward recurrence and regional and distant metastasis. Because of the limited number of reported cases in the literature, no reliable treatment has been established. We describe the case of a 79-year-old man who presented with a persistent submandibular mass that was suspicious for a malignancy on imaging. Following surgical resection and histopathologic analysis, a diagnosis of poorly differentiated small-cell NEC was made. The patient was further treated with postoperative chemotherapy, and he exhibited no evidence of recurrence or metastasis on follow-up.

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