, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 277-282
Date: 08 Jan 2008

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the head and neck: A 13-year review

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Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is a malignant tumour arising from salivary gland tissue. The aim of this study was to review the management of MEC at one institution over a period of 13 years and to identify factors associated with morbidity and mortality. The case notes of patients with MEC treated between 1987 and 2000 were reviewed. Well-differentiated tumours were graded as low grade tumours and poorly differentiated tumours as high grade. Staging was done according to the TMN classification of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).The collected data were analysed using GraphPad Prism 4.03. The Kaplan-Meier method and the Logrank Test were used to assess the statistical significance of various groups. There were 37 patients identified. Twenty-one cases were low grade tumours and sixteen high grade. The overall survival rate at 5 and 10 years was 74.8 and 65.2%, respectively. The overall loco-regional control rates at 5 and 10 years were 87.3 and 60.4%, respectively. High grade, high stage and incomplete resection margins had an adverse effect on survival. MEC is best managed in tertiary centres where the patients can be assessed and treated by a multidisciplinary team.