Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the head and neck: CRTC1/3 MAML 2 translocation and its prognosticators

Stijn van Weert, Birgit I. Lissenberg-Witte, Elisabeth Bloemena, C. René Leemans

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Purpose: Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) of the head and neck is a prevalent malignant salivary gland tumour with a reported good outcome. The aim of this study was to report the outcome in our centre. Methods: A retrospective chart analysis with survival analyses was performed combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis to assess CRTC1/3 MAML 2 fusion gene presence. Results: Sixty-four cases of MEC were identified. Median age at presentation was 51.4 years with a predominance for parotid gland involvement. Five, 10- and 20- year disease-free survival was 98%, 90% and 68%, respectively. Overall survival was 94%, 90% and 64%, respectively. Local recurrence was seen up to 14 years after primary diagnosis; distant metastases were diagnosed up to 17 years later. The overall recurrence rate was less than 20 per cent. CRTC1/3 MAML 2 fusion gene presence showed no survival benefit. Conclusion: MEC of the head and neck has a favorable outcome with the exception of high-grade MEC. PNI and nodal involvement are not rare. CRTC1/3 MAML 2 fusion gene presence showed no survival benefit. The tendency for late onset of loco-regional and distant recurrence should not be underestimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2573-2581
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean archives of oto-rhino-laryngology
Issue number5
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
  • Parotid gland
  • Prognosticators
  • Salivary glands
  • Translocation

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