How is true malignant mixed tumor (carcinosarcoma) defined?

Updated: Dec 01, 2015
  • Author: M Sherif Said, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: M Sherif Said, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Different patterns of malignant change occur in pleomorphic adenoma, of which true malignant mixed tumor (carcinosarcoma) is one form. The other 2 forms are carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma and metastasizing benign pleomorphic adenoma.

By definition, carcinosarcoma is a biphasic malignant tumor with a carcinomatous component and a sarcomatous component. Most of these tumors arise in the background of pleomorphic adenoma; however, some arise de novo .

Carcinosarcoma of the salivary glands was first described by Kirklin et al in 1951. [1] The term true malignant mixed tumor in the salivary glands was first used by King in 1967 in a study that helped to renew interest in this tumor group. [2]


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