Mucoepidermoid carcinoma may be devoid of squamoid cells by immunohistochemistry: expanding the histologic and immunohistochemical spectrum of MAML2- rearranged salivary gland tumours

Justin A. Bishop, Lester D.R. Thompson, Bradford Siegele, Jeffrey Gagan, Mena Mansour, Rebecca D. Chernock, Lisa M. Rooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is historically defined by a mix of squamoid, intermediate, and mucous cells, but we have recently encountered several cases lacking immunoreactivity for squamous markers p40, p63, and CK5/6 despite MAML2 fusions. This study will characterise these unique tumours. Ten MEC were collected arising from the parotid gland (n = 4), submandibular gland (n = 2), nasopharynx (n = 1), base of tongue (n = 1), bronchus (n = 1), and trachea (n = 1). Six tumours were low-grade, two intermediate-grade, one high-grade, and one demonstrated low-grade areas with high-grade transformation. Four cases were oncocytic, four had clear-cell features, two had spindle cell features, and one high-grade MEC had prominent solid, cord-like, and micropapillary features. The tumours were negative for p40 (10/10), p63 (10/10), and CK5/6 (9/9). Targeted RNA sequencing demonstrated CRTC1::MAML2 in five cases, CRTC3::MAML2 in two, and a novel MAML2::CEP126 in the unusual high-grade case. In two cases with insufficient RNA, MAML2 fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) showed rearrangement. Genetically-confirmed MEC may lack overt squamous differentiation by histology and immunohistochemistry. While most cases harboured canonical fusions and fit within the spectra of MEC variants with oncocytic, clear cell, and/or spindle cell features, one had a novel MAML2::CEP126 fusion and unusual morphology. In MEC without squamoid cells, the use of immunohistochemistry may hinder, rather than aid, the correct diagnosis. In such cases, MAML2 analysis is most useful. The historical definition of MEC as a carcinoma with squamoid, intermediate and mucous cells should be revisited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-313
Number of pages9
JournalHistopathology
Volume82
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • MAML2
  • mucoepidermoid carcinoma
  • p40
  • p63
  • salivary gland neoplasms

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