Skip to main content Accessibility help

Adenosquamous carcinoma of unknown primary origin: a case report and literature review

  • T Takeuchi (a1), T Yasui (a1), M Izeki (a2) and S Komune (a3)



Adenosquamous carcinoma is a rare variant of semicircular canal that can affect various regions, including the head and neck. Adenosquamous carcinoma is characterised pathologically by the simultaneous presence of distinct areas of semicircular canal and adenocarcinoma, and usually takes an aggressive course with local recurrences, early lymph node metastases and distant disseminations.


We report a rare case of neck adenosquamous carcinoma of unknown primary origin, which was well-controlled by thorough resection without any other additional therapy.


We discuss the diagnosis and treatment of adenosquamous carcinoma along with a review of pertinent literature. We also consider the potential differential diagnosis of branchiogenic carcinoma.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: T Takeuchi, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 1-1 Maidashi, 3-Chome, Higashi-Ku, Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka-Ken 812-8582, Japan Fax:+81 92 6425685 E-mail:


Hide All
1Cardesa, A, Zidar, N, Alos, L. Adenosquamous carcinoma. In: Barnes, L, Eveson, J, Reichart, P, Sidransky, D, eds. World Health Organization Classification of Tumours: Pathology and Genetics Head and Neck Tumours. Lyon: IARC Press, 2005;130–1
2Gerughty, RM, Hennigar, GR, Brown, FM. Adenosquamous carcinoma of the nasal, oral and laryngeal cavities. A clinicopathologic survey of ten cases. Cancer 1968;22:1140–55
3Alos, L, Castillo, M, Nadal, A, Caballero, M, Mallofre, C, Palacin, A et al. Adenosquamous carcinoma of the head and neck: criteria for diagnosis in a study of 12 cases. Hisopathology 2004;44:570–9
4Keelawat, S, Liu, CZ, Roehm, PC, Barnes, L. Adenosquamous carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract: a clinicopathologic study of 12 cases and review of the literature. Am J Otolaryngol 2002;23:160–8
5Masand, RP, El-Mofty, SK, Ma, XJ. Adenosquamous carcinoma of the head and neck: relationship to human papillomavirus and review of the literature. Head Neck Pathol 2011;5:108–16
6Yoshimura, Y, Mishima, K, Obara, S, Yoshimura, H, Maruyama, R. Clinical characteristics of oral adenosquamous carcinoma: report of a case and an analysis of the reported Japanese cases. Oral Oncol 2003;39:309–15
7Sheahan, P, Toner, M, Timon, CV. Clinicopathological features of head and neck adenosquamous carcinoma. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 2005;67:10–5
8Thompson, LDR, Heffner, DK. The clinical importance of cystic squamous cell carcinomas in the neck. Cancer 1998;82:944–56
9Martin, H, Morfit, HM, Ehrich, H. The case for branchiogenic cancer (malignant branchioma). Ann Surg 1950;132:867–87
10Khafif, RA, Prichep, R, Minkowitz, S. Primary branchiogenic carcinoma. Head Neck 1989;11:153–63



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed