Nasopharyngeal Adenocarcinoma

Adenocarcinomas of the nasopharynx are extremely uncommon tumours and can be separated into carcinomas arising from the surface epithelium or from the mucoserous salivary glands. The salivary gland-type carcinomas are more common than those arising from the surface epithelium [114].

Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ICD-O:8200/3), the most common carcinoma of the salivary type in the oral cavity and hard palate, is rare in the nasopharynx [21, 114, 181]. Adenoid cystic carcinomas of the nasopharynx are more common in Japan than in the western world. It is


Papillary adenocarcinomas of the nasopharynx are extremely uncommon, slow-growing, low-grade carcinomas without known risk factors [76, 114]. In a series of 9 patients, aged 11 to 64 years, the papillary adenocar-cinomas of the nasopharynx were confined to the roof and postero-lateral walls of the nasopharynx [198]. Papillary nasopharyngeal adenocarcinomas are unencapsu-lated, exophytic, cauliflower-like tumours with an occasional gritty consistency due to numerous psammoma bodies. Complex papillations arise from the surface epithelium. The papillae and crowded back-to-back glands are lined with uniform, bland, tall, columnar cells with intermixed mucin-containing, PAS-positive goblet cells. Some areas show overlapping vesicular nuclei with granular cytoplasm resembling thyroid carcinomas. Stromal calcifications and psammoma bodies can be found. Vascular, lymphatic or neural invasion is uncommon. Low-grade papillary adenocarcinomas of the nasopharynx should be distinguished from the polymorphous low-

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