Combined small cell carcinoma (SCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) of the oropharynx is extremely rare and shows an aggressive clinical course. There are only 5 reported cases of combined SCC and SqCC in the English language literature. Here, we report a 59-year-old male presenting with a right tonsillar mass. The mass was biopsied, and the histological findings showed a proliferation of small-sized tumor cells with scant cytoplasm. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were positive for neuroendocrine markers (synaptophysin, chromogranin A, and CD56). Our first diagnosis was tonsillar small cell carcinoma. We treated the patient with concurrent chemoradiotherapy together with cisplatin followed by surgery. The resected tonsillar specimen showed a residual tumor composed of SCC and SqCC, and lymph nodes showed metastatic tumor cells of the SCC component. Immunohistochemically, the SCC component was positive for all neuroendocrine markers and p16; on the other hand, the SqCC component was positive for p40, p63, p16, and EGFR. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that neither component showed any EGFR gene copy number gain. The patient was treated with adjuvant chemotherapy consisting of irinotecan and cisplatin. Liver and bone metastases developed, resulting in the death of the patient. We discuss the present case and review similar cases. Most cases of combined SCC and SqCC occur regardless of p16 status, and a therapeutic strategy has yet to be determined. Further examination of this kind of combined tumor is necessary.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes