Published online Sep 16, 2022. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v10.i26.9484
Peer-review started: May 6, 2022
First decision: May 31, 2022
Revised: June 12, 2022
Accepted: August 1, 2022
Article in press: August 1, 2022
Published online: September 16, 2022
Salivary gland cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the salivary glands. It mostly occurs in the glands that have secretion functions, such as the parotid gland, sublingual gland and submandibular gland. This is very rare when it occurs in other nonsecreting glands. Here, we report one case of salivary gland carcinoma occurring in the thymus and discuss related diagnoses and treatment progress.
One 33-year-old middle-aged man presented with a thymus mass without any clinical symptoms when he underwent regular physical examination. Later, the patient was admitted to the hospital for further examination. Computed tomography (CT) showed that there was a mass of 3 cm × 2.8 cm × 1.5 cm in the thymus area. The patient had no symptom of discomfort or tumor- related medical history before. After completing the preoperative examinations, it was confirmed that the patient had indications for surgery. The surgeon performed a transthoracoscope "thymectomy + pleural mucostomy" for him. During the operation, the tumor tissue was quickly frozen, and the symptomatic section showed a malignant tumor. The final pathological result suggested thymus salivary gland carcinoma- mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC). In the second month after surgery, we performed local area radiotherapy for the patient, with a total radiation dose of 50.4 Gy/28Fx. After 12 mo of surgery, the patient underwent positron emission tomography-CT examination, which indicated that there was no sign of tumor recurrence or metastasis. After 16 mo of operation, CT scan re-examination showed that there was no sign of tumor recurrence or metastasis. As of the time of publication, the patient was followed up for one and a half years. He had no sign of tumor recurrence and continued to survive.
The incidence of MEC in the thymus is low, and its diagnosis needs to be combined with clinical features and imaging methods. Histopathological analysis plays a key role in the diagnosis of the disease. Patients with early-stage disease have a good prognosis and long survival period. In contrast, patients with advanced-stage disease have a poor prognosis and short survival period. Combining radiotherapy and chemotherapy in inoperable patients may prolong survival.
Core Tip: In this report, we showed one one 33-year-old middle-aged man presented with a thymus mass without any clinical symptoms when he underwent regular physical examination. After completing the pre-operative examinations, it was confirmed that the patient had indications for surgery. The surgeon performed a transthoracoscope "thymectomy + pleural mucostomy" for him. The final pathological result suggested: Thymus salivary gland carcinoma-mucoepidermoid carcinoma, which was rarely reported in literatures. The patient underwent a local radiotherapy for total dose of 50.4 Gy after the surgery. He had no sign of recurrence and continued to survive as of time of publication.